The Laurel History Boys are especially proud to showcase one of Laurel’s own—Joe Kundrat. Even if you don’t know who Joe is, you’ve probably seen some of his photos.
Joe graduated from Laurel High School in 1970, and it was in high school that he first developed an interest in photography. Using a 35mm Pentax that was a gift from his father, Joe always had his camera, snapping away at whatever caught his interest.
In 1972, Joe was watching the George Wallace rally with his mother at the Laurel Shopping Center, and they were right up front when the shooting took place. Joe took some of the most famous photos of the day, which were bought by the Associated Press and other media organizations, and appeared in newspapers around the world. Joe recalled aiming his camera under a policeman’s arms to get a photo of the shooter, Arthur Bremer, being wrestled to the ground. His mother went to the aid of the Secret Service agent who was shot in the neck and fell near her.
His photos of the devastation in Laurel from Hurricane Agnes, also in 1972, filled the News Leader.
He was a mail carrier in Laurel for over 34 years and his photos capture life in Laurel during the 1970s and 80s.