This award-winning 1967 photo, taken by Rocco Morabito, was titled “The Kiss of Life.
” It shows two electrical operators, Champion Randall and JD Thompson, on top of an electricity pole.
They had been performing routine maintenance when Champion brushed one of the low voltage lines at the top of the power pole. More than 4,000 volts entered Champion’s body and his heart was instantly stopped (an electric chair uses about 2,000 volts).
His safety harness prevented a fall, and Thompson, who had been ascending below him, quickly reached him and took a mouth-to-mouth breath.
He was not able to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, given the circumstances, but continued mouth-to-mouth breathing, keeping Champion’s lungs active until he felt a slight pulse, then unfastened the harness and descended with it on his shoulder.
Thompson and other workers performed CPR on the floor at Champion, whose breathing and heart rate were gradually restored. Then the paramedics arrived and Champion’s recovery was complete.
His partner had saved his life with what the picture looks like a kiss. Champion survived and lived until 2002, when he died of heart failure at the age of 64. Thompson is still living.
The photograph was published in newspapers around the world and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1968. There are friends who are not friends, and there are friends who are more than brothers.