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FDNY firefighter in iconic 9/11 photo with former President George W. Bush dies

Retired FDNY Firefighter Bob Beckwith thought he would just help then-President George W. Bush up onto a fire engine and nothing more

By Bill Carey

NEW YORK — Bob Beckwith, a retired FDNY firefighter who appeared with then-President George W. Bush in an iconic photo from Ground Zero just three days after the Sept. 11 attacks, has died.

Former New York Rep. Peter King announced Beckwith’s passing on social media Monday, the New York Post reported. King called Beckwith “an American icon who personified the best of the FDNY, New York and America at our most perilous moment.”

Beckwith was 69 years old and had been retired from the FDNY for seven years after serving for three decades. On Sept. 14, 2001, he went to Ground Zero to help with the search and rescue efforts and inadvertently became a part of history after his photo was seen across newspapers, television screens and the cover of Time magazine.

[RELATED: Bullhorn firefighter recalls famous 9/11 moment with president]

At his home, Beckwith kept a framed copy of the famous Time magazine cover and the flag gifted to him by the former president.

“It is not about me,” Beckwith said in an interview last year. “It is about the president and the country, and it was for a terrible tragedy. I’m not gonna pat myself on the back, I didn’t do anything. When the president was there, I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.”

Beckwith was 91. He is survived by his wife, six children and grandchildren.