“The Kiss Of Life” has a very rich history. In 1967, photographer Rocco Morabito worked for the Jacksonville Journal and was on his way back to the newspaper after covering a story regarding a railroad strike. He noticed linemen from Jacksonville Electric Authority was working on the street and he heard screaming.
Upon stopping, he noticed a young man was dangling on the pole. Randall Champion, a lineman, was secured by his safety harness after having been electrocuted with over 4000 volts of electricity. Another lineman by the name of J. D. Thompson quickly climbed the pole, cradled him as best he could, and provided mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
He continued until he could feel a pulse and quickly brought him down on his shoulders. On the ground, he provided CPR and was able to revive Champion. Thanks to Thompson’s quick action, Champion was alive and breathing.
While all this happened, Morabito called the ambulance and took a series of photos with one becoming a Pulitzer-winning photograph.
‘The Kiss Of Life’ by Rocco Morabito, 1968 Pulitzer Prize
Champion would go on to live another 35 years but passed in 2002. J.D Thompson is still alive today. Rocco Morabito worked for Jacksonville Journal for 42 years. He passed in 2009 at the age of 88.
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