Former photojournalism professor succumbs to illness


Anacleto Rapping, takes photos in the Moorpark College Performing Arts Center with his PhotoJournalism Students. Photo provided by: Jesse Watrous

By John Louie Menorca, Broadcast Editor

Former Moorpark College photojournalism professor Anacleto Michael Rapping passed away on Sunday, Sept 17, 2017, following a four-year battle with colon cancer.

Rapping had over two decades of experience with the Los Angeles Times as a staff photographer, covering events including presidential campaigns, Olympic Games, celebrities and the Academy Awards.

Rapping previously worked for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut, and the Thousand Oaks News Chronicle in California. During his career, Rapping took assignments as far as South Africa, Australia and Singapore, as well as across the United States.

Rapping received three Pulitzer Prizes for team coverage in news, and one individual Pulitzer Prize nomination for his photography coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Rapping had taught photojournalism at the former Brooks Institute in Ventura for nine years. Afterwards, he taught photojournalism at Moorpark College for the Spring 2017 semester.

Professor Stephen Callis, one of Rapping’s colleagues in the photography department at Moorpark College, gave his condolences and looks back on Rapping’s qualities as a professor.

“He was well liked and respected by the students in his photojournalism class,” said Callis. “He was always very collegial and helpful and wanted to collaborate. I’ve always gotten the sense that he was excited to be here and looked forward to his class, working with his students.”

Jesse Watrous
Anacleto Rapping, left, speaks with a student at the Moorpark College Arts Theatre and writes down information to show his students an example of how a photojournalist gathers information.

Rapping left a profound impact on his students during his time here at Moorpark College, and Jesse Watrous, a Photography major, was one of them.

“He always had a word of encouragement and loved teaching his craft,” said Watrous. “He came to class determined to teach and help us become better photographers. Because of him, I received a job as a photojournalist in a local newspaper, during his class. He always had a smile on his face and a story to tell. He is dearly missed.”

John Lopreino, Chair of the Theater Arts Department at Moorpark College, and 20-year longtime friend of Rapping, admired and respected Anacleto’s passion for photography.

“You look at the world through your eyes, and then you look at the world through the lens of a camera the same way,” said Loperino. “Michael [Anacleto] was all about making sure the photographer was in touch with their identity, their own values, and that they took photographs that would speak to that. He would always speak about how the heart was the photographer’s eye.”

Those closest to Rapping also won’t forget his unique perspective on taking photos such as his photography on umbrellas.

One of Rapping’s many umbrella shots.

Rapping leaves a wonderful legacy behind, beautiful and meaningful photos for future generations to admire and learn from. He is survived by his wife Terrie, and children Matt and Ariel.

To see some of his works and photo galleries, visit his websites here: and here:

Donations and memorial gifts for Anacleto can be submitted here:

Jesse Watrous helped contribute to this article.