Photo of Boy Patting Obama's Head Finally Explained

by at . Comments

When you're the most powerful and famous person on Earth, every photo gives way to the next in a matter of hours if not minutes. Except this one.

By popular demand, it's remained on display at his office since 2009.

An "aw"-inducing photo hangs in the White House's West Wing showing President Obama leaning over to allow a 5-year-old boy to touch his hair.

The New York Times reveals the back story that led to the picture:

Patting Obama

The boy in the picture is Jacob Philadelphia of Columbia, Md.

Three years ago this month, his father, Carlton, a former Marine, was leaving the White House staff after a two-year stint on the National Security Council.

As departing staff members often do, Mr. Philadelphia asked for a family photograph with the Commander-in-Chief, who happily obliged.

When the pictures were taken and the family was about to leave, Mr. Philadelphia told Mr. Obama that his sons each had a question ...

    Jacob spoke first.
    “I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.
    Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He brought his head level with Jacob, who hesitated.
    “Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.
    As Jacob patted the presidential crown, Mr. Souza snapped.
    “So, what do you think?” Mr. Obama asked.
    “Yes, it does feel the same,” Jacob said.

A great story, and a great shot by the White House photographer Pete Souza.

Tags: ,