Neil Leifer

Topics: Olympic Games, Muhammad Ali, Summer Olympic Games Pages: 2 (403 words) Published: April 8, 2014
Neil Leifer

Born December 28th, 1942 in New York City, Neil Leifer was born. Growing up there, he would gain free admission to the New York Giants games by pushing the wheelchairs of handicapped patrons into the stadiums. Using his free ticket and camera, he would position himself on the field with the photographers. As a youth, he studied photography at Henry Street Settlement. Leifer gained free admission to the 1958 NFL title game between the Giants and Baltimore Colts. This game became famous as the first overtime game in league history. Leifer, on his sixteenth birthday, caught several images of the game winning touchdown which he sold to Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated's editors liked Leifer's work and he quickly became a boy wonder at the magazine. He had his first cover shot in 1962 at age 19. Up until 1978, Leifer photographed just sports for Sports Illustrated Magazine. Leifer was one of the only two photographers with color film in his camera. When Ali knocked out Sonny Liston in the heavyweight title fight, his image of the moment has become not just one of his most famous photos, but one of the most memorable sports photos of all time - seen by many as the greatest sports photograph in history. Leifer photographed seven Olympic Games for the magazine and is best known for having followed Muhammad Ali's career from beginning to end. 170 of his pictures have been published on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1978 Leifer left sports for a wider range of assignments with Time Magazine and produced 40 covers for the magazine. His cover subjects have included, President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush, Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, National Rifle Association President Joe Foss, Statue of Liberty's 100th birthday celebration, actors Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood, Pope John Paul II's visit to America, Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, The Space Shuttle Columbia, President Jimmy Carter, The...
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