He had complications from dementia, said his son, Anthony Fusco.
During the heart of his career, Mr. Fusco was a staff photographer for Look, which in the 1960s was Life magazine’s chief competitor. Both magazines had circulations of several million each and were known for their exceptional photography.
After joining Look in 1957, Mr. Fusco worked across Europe and Asia, and from Egypt to Mexico to Brazil. Drawn particularly to the downtrodden, he photographed Kentucky coal miners, homeless people in New York, migrant farmworkers in California and rural poverty in the South.
“I want to take pictures of people that, when you see them, you can feel their lives,” he told the Record newspaper of Bergen County, N.J., in 2005.
He did not know what to expect when he was assigned to cover Kennedy’s funeral in New York on June 8, 1968, days after the Democratic senator from New York had been assassinated in Los Angeles. After the service at Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Kennedy’s flag-draped casket was to be placed on a train bound for Washington. Mr. Fusco’s editor told him to go to Penn Station.
“He told me, ‘There’s a train, get on it,’ ’’ Mr. Fusco recalled to Publishers Weekly in 2008. “No instructions.”
Mr. Fusco had three cameras — two Leicas and a Nikon — and a huge supply of Kodachrome film. He was not allowed to take pictures inside the train and was prevented from entering the train’s last car, which carried Kennedy’s body. He was thinking of how he would cover the burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
As the train emerged from a tunnel under the Hudson River and entered New Jersey, Mr. Fusco saw what would become his most memorable and poignant subject: ordinary citizens alongside the railroad tracks, bearing witness and sharing grief.
“I was astounded by the people,” Mr. Fusco told the Palm Beach Post in 2010. “I just reflexively jumped up, went to the window and pulled down the top pane. And I just stood in that window for eight hours and shot film. . . . I was overwhelmed by the constant stream of people and the variety and mixture and visible pain and loss.”
They stood at attention or in informal groups. Catholic school girls were in plaid dresses, next to nuns in their habits. Children and entire families lined up, wearing only their swimsuits on a hot day.
“The train was moving mournful slow,” one Baltimore resident would recall, through ragged suburbs and rundown sections of cities, all of them thronged with people — more than a million, Kennedy biographer Evan Thomas estimated.
They stood shoulder to shoulder, people of all ages and races, a tableau of America. Women knelt in prayer and waved handkerchiefs. Barechested boys stood and saluted from a wooden footbridge. Some people held their dogs as they waved goodbye. A young couple watched from a motorcycle. Two people, standing in cinders beside the railroad track, held a homemade sign: “So-Long Bobby.”
“Most of us hide most of the time,” Mr. Fusco later said. “We don’t want people aware of what we are feeling. But that day, very few people were hiding. It was a consistent wave of emotion without interruption.”
During the Korean War, Mr. Fusco had been a photographer in the Army, often taking aerial photographs. He knew how to focus his cameras while in a moving vehicle.
On this day, he was looking out of the right side of the train, facing west toward a setting sun. He focused on people’s faces, which are clear and sharp even as buildings and cars in the background are in a blur.