Sam Mikulin, UPI-April 2001

Date: Fri, May 5, 2000 2:12 AM EDT

Dear SFBAPPAers,Retired United Press International photographer Sam Mikulin passed away on Friday, April 14 due to pneumonia and other complications. He was 75 years old, a veteran of 40 years with UPI Newspictures. He is survived by three daughters and a granddaughter.Same was a lifelong photo enthusiast taking pictures and developing them in his basement darkroom before he was a teenage. The army drafted him in early 1943, but he was positive they wouldn’t keep him because he had a bad case of asthma. Boarding a train to boot camp he said “I’ll be back home in two week”. Three years later – having served in General Patton’s 11th Armored Division as an infantryman meriting an infantry medal and bronze star in the Battle of the Bulge – he was back home.With the war behind him he entered San Francisco Jr. College, took a side course in shorthand which eventually got him a job with the San Francisco Daily News as a secretary. This gave him a chance everyday to go up to the sixth floor and talk with the fellows at the prestigious ACME Newspictures (Later UPI Photos) about photography. In a few weeks he was hired and was given credentials as a photographer. A few months later the chiefs in New York soon notice his talent and intelligence, offering him a managerial position as they came up around the country. But Sam’s desire was to do his job only in San Francisco, turning all other offers down.Sam covered many Olympics, World Series, Super Bowls, riots, political elections and what-not working a lot of night shifts, he liked to cook his own meals in the spare darkroom. The managers made him stop because the lingering essence of gourmet cooking overflowed well into he morning shift. A stringer introduced him to kimchee, the Korean preserved cabbage. He liked it, so he stored some in his locker located in the film darkroom. The aroma didn’t bother the staff too much but the managers kept complaining about the strong smell of hypo.Sam once took an aptitude test in college, the result of which was that he was best suited to be a comedian. The San Francisco was a fun bureau to work in and he was a big part of it. He coach dozens of stringers coming through and they all went their way around the Bay Area with a smile on their faces and a good background of news coverage. (Stringers such as Lou Dematteis, Lloyd Francis, John Green, Martin Klimek, Andy Kuno, Rod Lamkey, Bob and Fred Larson, Doug Menuez, Terry Schmitt, Blake Sell, John Storey to name a few)Instead of flowers, the family requests donations to:Disabled American VeteransP.O. 14301 Cincinnati, OH 45250Letters or cards can be sent to Sam’s family:Mary Mikulin (Sam’s daughter)206 St. Catherine Dr.Daly City, CA 94015Or call (650) 755-4053Charlie BlagdonUPI retiredchalu@flash.net