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AWTT observes passing of supporter Bob Sargent

AWTT artist Robert Shetterly loves to tell the story about his unlikely friendship with Bob Sargent, who died on April 4, 2024, And of Bob’s critical role in the birth of Americans Who Tell the Truth.

Robert had completed a few portraits and had begun showing them around his home on the Blue Hill peninsula – at a sandwich shop, then some libraries. When Bob Sargent saw one of these local shows, he was moved by the vision of U.S. history, the emphasis on telling truth to power, and the opposition to the impending Iraq war. It was Bob’s idea that the portraits should begin traveling the country to museums and colleges. Bob said that he was retired from work with the State Department and had some time on his hands and could assemble a volunteer team to make that happen. The two became fast friends and worked together for the next five years  developing a larger vision for AWTT and the portraits.  

Robert laughs when he tells the part about discovering, as their partnership developed, that Sargent had actually been an agent for the CIA. Although they held some divergent political views, both men were driven by the belief that secrecy was a major threat to democracy – a truth that Sargent knew first-hand.

Sadly, Sargent’s health declined over the next few years, preventing him from continuing his active role with AWTT. But Shetterly continues to tell the story of their dual efforts, remembering with fondness Sargent’s significant role in AWTT’s evolution.

Read Bob Sargent’s full obituary here

Shetterly relates more about AWTT’s beginnings here (2004 Artist Statement)

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