Posted on Mar 1, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships and its signature photographer, Rich Clarkson, j’55, Sports Illustrated’s March 6 issue will include a 12-page spread devoted to Clarkson and his unequaled 58 years of shooting the Final Four.
Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson tells of Clarkson’s first basketball championship while a KU freshman. His portrait of newly-arrived basketball star Wilt Chamberlain, ’59, was his first published photograph in Sports Illustrated and led to the first of many assignments. Clarkson, a Presidents Club-level supporter and Life Member of the KU Alumni Association, will be courtside April 6 and 8 for this year’s Final Four, his 59th tournament.
Clarkson photographed many of the tournaments for Sports Illustrated as a contributing photographer while also directing photo departments at The Topeka Capital-Journal, The Denver Post and the National Geographic Society. He now heads Rich Clarkson and Associates, a Denver-based company that provides photographic coverage, image management and book publishing for a number of clients, including the NCAA and Colorado Rockies.
Clarkson’s group photographs all 89 NCAA championships and has packaged 29 books. One of them, Brian Lanker’s portraits of America’s greatest black women, I Dream A World, was for many years the best-selling trade coffee table book in American publishing history.