Bob Beckwith, Firefighter Featured In Famous Photo With Bush During 9/11, Dies At 91

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Firefighter Featured In Famous Photo With Bush After 9/11 Dies At 91Firefighter Featured In Famous Photo With Bush After 9/11 Dies At 91

Bob Beckwith, a retired firefighter from the New York City Fire Department, gained widespread recognition after he was featured in an iconic photo from the ground zero scene of the devastating September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. In the famous photo, Beckwith stood shoulder to shoulder with President George W. Bush amidst the rubble.

The firefighter recently passed away after a long battle with skin cancer, which later spread to his brain and lungs. “Bob lived a life of service to others, whether heeding the call to serve in the Navy during the Korean War or as an FDNY Firefighter for more than 30 years,” the family announced. “His iconic moment with President Bush at Ground Zero on 9/11 helped rally the nation in its darkest time and served as a symbol for first responders everywhere. Above all, Bob was the quintessential husband, father, brother, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed.”

Remembering Bob Beckwith and his incredible service

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Beckwith, who had already been retired from the FDNY for seven years following a distinguished 30-year career, volunteered and joined other firefighters and first responders in the search and rescue efforts after the attacks on the World Trade Center. While in the line of duty, his life took an unexpected turn when the then US president, George W. Bush, visited the site and stood by his side on the Engine Co. 76 truck with his arm draped around Beckwith’s shoulder as he addressed the rescue team.

Reflecting on the iconic photograph in 2011, Beckwith’s wife, Barbara, stated that her husband’s presence in the image, which went viral on newspapers and television screens, was primarily due to a stroke of luck. “He was just lucky. He was at the right place, at the right time, and that’s why he’s famous,” Barbara admitted. “But he was a regular guy. Well-liked and quiet. Just a regular Joe.”

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Following the announcement of Beckwith’s death, there has been an outpouring of tributes from several people who have taken to social media to extend their condolences. Former President Bush paid tribute to the brave firefighters and also commented on their iconic picture together. “Laura and I are saddened by the passing of Bob Beckwith. On September 11, 2001, Bob was happily retired after more than 30 years of service with the New York City Fire Department,” he wrote via the X handle of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. “When the terrorists attacked, Bob suited back up and, like so many brave first responders, raced toward the danger to save and search for others.”

Firefighter dies at 91Firefighter dies at 91
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“His courage represented the defiant, resilient spirit of New Yorkers and Americans after 9/11,” he added. “I was proud to have Bob by my side at Ground Zero days later and privileged to stay in touch with this patriot over the years. Laura and I send our condolences to Barbara and the Beckwith family as they remember this decent, humble man.”

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