Hugo Johnson, 83, a former newsreel cameraman and news photographer who had photographed every president from Warren G. Harding to Dwight D. Eisenhower, died Wednesday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring after a heart attack.
Mr. Johnson began his career in his native New York City before World War I as an assistant cameraman on the old 500-foot comedy reels. He later worked as a cameraman for the old Selznick Studios in New York and directed New York City's bureau of photography.
After serving as an Army photographer in France during World War I, he joined Paramount News in New York City. He worked for Paramount here and in New York until 1933, when he was permanently transferred to Washington.
After Paramount News went out of business about 1959, Mr. Johnson worked as a free-lance photographer and consultant. His work included a number of short films on Washington for the old Walt Disney Productions television show, The Mickey Mouse Club. He also served as chief of special events for television under Edward R. Murrow for the old U.S. Information Agency, a predecessor of International Communication Agency.
Mr. Johnson was present at many historic events as a photographer, and covered the Potsdam Conference meeting of Allies in World War II and the well publicized ideological "kitchen confrontation" between then vice president Richard M. Nixon and Nikita Khruschev, then the premier of the Soviet Union.
Mr. Johnson, who lived in Chevy Chase, was a founding member of the White House News Photographers Association in 1921 and served as its president in the early 1940s.
He had been a member of Woodside United Methodist Church in Silver Spring for more than 30 years. He belonged to Variety Clubs International, the National Press Club and the Columbia Country Club.
Survivors include his wife, Inger, of Chevy Chase; a son, C. Richard, of Baltimore; a daughter, Rosalie J. McGrath of Kenwood, and six grandchildren.