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Mon June 14, 2004
Alabama Native Paints Clinton Portraits
By Alabama Public Radio
Washington, D.C. – An Alabama native will be in Washington Monday to unveil portraits of President Bill Clinton and former First Lady and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Simmie Knox is a former sharecropper. He's the first black person to have painted an official portrait for the presidential mansion. The oil painting shows the 42nd President in the Oval Office, with an American flag behind him. Knox was chosen by the Clintons to paint their portraits after they saw his portrait of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The self-taught Knox is otherwise known for portraits of black celebrities such as baseball's Hank Aaron and comedian Bill Cosby. Knox now lives in Maryland, but he was born in 1935 in Aliceville and grew up in Mobile.