The man who photographed the Manhattan Project has died.
Photographer Ed Westcott of Oak Ridge died Friday. He was 97. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Westcott’s work is the main visual record of the Manhattan Project work in Oak Ridge and of life in the “Secret City.“
The Army Corps of Engineers transferred Westcott to Oak Ridge in 1942 when he was just 20. The 29th worker hired for Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, he was its official photographer from 1942 until 1966.
He took thousands of photos, many of which were classified for years. Nearly all of his work is accessible today.
He was married to Esther Seigenthaler Westcott for 56 years before she preceded him in death. They had five children.
“Ed Westcott was Oak Ridge’s champion, a friend to every person he met, a creative genius, and American hero,” said Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch. “His iconic photography recorded the history of the Manhattan Project, the creation of Oak Ridge, and our City’s contributions in helping win World War II, the Cold War, and the scientific advances over 75 years which have enhanced mankind. His work chronicled the life and times, talent, hard work, sacrifice, and patriotism of the tens of thousands of men and women who made it happen.
“While we mourn the passing of a great man and dear friend, we are comforted by the fact that we are better people for having known him, and Oak Ridge’s contributions to our country and to the world are forever memorialized because of his vision and indomitable spirit.”