On the morning of April 19, a young banker named Charles H. Porter stepped out of his office and snapped a photograph that tore the hearts of millions of people around the world.

It was Mr. Porter, a credit specialist at Liberty Bancorp in Oklahoma City, who took the picture of a firefighter carrying the bloodied and limp body of a 1-year-old after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The photo quickly turned up in newspapers and magazines worldwide - and thrust the 25-year-old Mr. Porter into the glare of fame. He has appeared on the "Today" show and "Good Morning America" and has hired a lawyer to field the hundreds of phone calls he has received.

"It hasn't changed my life as far as who I am," said Mr. Porter, who speaks in a Midwestern drawl and prefers to be called Chuck. "But I've surely never been on TV before, and I've never been on radio stations before. It just has been new experiences after new experiences."

An amateur photographer who takes his film to a local Wal-Mart, Mr. Porter may now be in line for a Pulitzer prize.

"It is a Pulitzer-caliber photograph," said Mike Martinez, senior photo editor with the Associated Press.

Mr. Martinez said the photo "quickly and clearly demonstrates the horror of the situation. It is a gut-wrenching photograph. You feel helpless when you see it. It really brings home the tragedy."

The morning the bomb exploded, Mr. Porter was about two blocks away in Liberty's eighth-floor loan documentation room. When he heard the blast he thought it was a sonic boom, or a building being demolished. So he headed out of the building to his car, where he keeps his camera.

"I was completely shocked" after arriving at the scene, he said. "I was overwhelmed by what was going on down there. There was glass and debris everywhere. It seemed like hundreds of people were injured and bleeding everywhere."

Once on the scene, Mr. Porter began snapping pictures. His first photos were of a handful of rescue workers assisting an injured person. Then, 30 to 40 feet away, he saw a police officer handing the baby to the fireman.

Mr. Porter said he "just happened to take the picture at the right time."

"I was really kind of numb," he said. The blast was so unexpected, "it was really kind of a blur," he said. "After I got my pictures back, I didn't recall taking many of them."

In all, Mr. Porter took 45 pictures. The one that stands out most vividly in his mind is a shot of a woman sitting on a curb with a vacant look on her face.

"It was like she was frozen. ... She was in total disbelief," he said.

After Mr. Porter had the pictures developed he called a friend, a professional photographer, who told him to take the pictures to the Associated Press office. At 11:45 a.m., he met with the AP and by noontime the pictures were in newsrooms across the country.

"I have found out in the last few weeks that pictures are a business," Mr. Porter said.

Since the shutter clicked on Mr. Porter's Canon camera, the shot of the fireman and the baby and another photo he took have been splashed across newspaper front pages and on magazine covers. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today published Mr. Porter's picture of an Oklahoma City policeman handing baby Almon Baylee to the fireman on their front pages the day after the blast. Time and London's Economist magazine ran the photo of the fireman holding the baby, who later died, on their covers.

Mr. Porter has been getting plenty of attention, too. Besides his television appearances, he's been on at least 15 radio shows.

He said he had to hire a lawyer to handle all the requests from people interested in buying his pictures. At one point the bank was preparing to set up a line to handle the calls, Mr. Porter said.

"I've just been trying to get back to normal," he said. "It's been a little bit hectic. The first few days it was very, very hard to do my job."

Mr. Porter said he doesn't know if he has received any money from the photo, and he doesn't appear overly concerned about it. He's leaving negotiations up to his lawyer.

The AP "offered me some money," he said. "I haven't received anything. I might get a check in the mail, I might not. I don't know."

Despite his sudden fame, Mr. Porter has no plans to become a professional photographer. He likes business and hopes to earn a graduate degree in health administration. And he isn't worried about winning a Pulitzer.

"If that happens, that's good. If it doesn't, I didn't really lose anything," Mr. Porter said. "The only thing I hope ... is that people will remember what they felt inside. That is the real tragedy here, the pain and what really happened here. That's the real tragedy; just don't forget that feeling."

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