Working class twin brothers Tom and Frank Hoy hustled up copyboy jobs in 1953 and became White House News Photographers for two major Washington DC newspapers. Frank shot pictures for The Washington Post, and Tom did the same for The Evening Star. They were affectionately known as “The Hoy Boys.” They were never famous, but their story is the story of American journalism when it mattered most.

In the 1950s and 60s physical newspapers were the primary source of news and information, and Tom and Frank stumbled into a golden era for photojournalism. They both became White House correspondents and they were able to shoot pictures in an era before the “hyper- credentialed” came to dominate the news media. As staff photographers for major newspapers, their work was seen by hundreds of thousands of people daily.

“The Hoy Boys” introduces audiences to the once great newspaper The Evening Star (1862 – 1981.) It was the leading paper in DC in the 1950s and one of the top in the country. The Evening Star is brought to life by former staffers Carl Bernstein, Warren Hoge, Rupert Welch, Jack Sherwood, Arnold Taylor and others. Family members and media thinkers round out the ensemble. Tom and Frank’s iconic photographs graced the pages of competing Washington DC newspapers in the 1950’s and 60’s and as we rediscover their iconic images, The Hoy Boys provides a lens through which we view the complexities of the past and the chaos of the today’s media landscape.

The Evening Star Photo Staff – 1954

The Filmmaker

Dave Simonds directed the documentaries The Hoy Boys, Forgotten Farms and Cherry Cottage: the Story of an American House. He continues work on the short episodic series “Free Advice from an Old Guy” with Jay Tarses. As an actor, Simonds worked extensively in New York, and regionally at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Long Wharf Theatre, and The Portland Stage Company. He was a familiar face in the indie-film renaissance of the late 80s and early 90s and his screen credits include Amateur, The Book of Life, Signs and Wonders, The Fish in a Bathtub, Henry Fool, B Movie, among many others. He appeared in music videos for Everything But the Girl, Beth Orton and others. He was the co-founder of the award winning Cucaracha Theatre, which was housed in a warehouse in Tribeca before anyone knew how to find Tribeca. The New York Times proclaimed, “Cucaracha Theatre has become a center for some of the most interesting experimental theatre in New York.” He is currently at work with his partner Sarah Gardner on a documentary about the rural/urban divide.