NCAA Sports Photographer
Liberty Memorial High School
When Clarkson was a boy, living in an apartment with his parents above his grandmother's restaurant in Lawrence, his hobbies were planes and newspapers, passions he combined when, as a junior high student, he created his first publication. He rode his bike to the local airport to round up news for his lithographed newspaper about aviation. He wrote the stories and traced photographs for the paper, which boasted 35 subscribers.
When he was 7, in 1939 he and some friends sneaked into Robinson Gymnasium to watch the Jayhawks practice. James Naismith was there observing practice and Coach Phog Allen introduced the boys to him.
For seven decades Rich Clarkson has had a front row seat to sporting history and through his eyes-or more precisely, through his camera lens-he has shaped the way the rest of us remember many of the game's greatest moments. He has photographed all the greats of college basketball over the past six decades, from Adolph Rupp and John
Wooden to Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski; from Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich to future Nuggets Carmelo Anthony and Ty Lawson. His photos have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated 33 times, on the pages of Time and Life magazines and as the cover art of countless books. "The best person ever in his profession," Knight said of Clarkson.
Renowned sports photographer Rich Clarkson has captured the magic of KU's three NCAA basketball championships in this rare collection for Jayhawks to treasure. This hardcover book is the story of three KU teams and their national championships, told by players and sports journalists including Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl.
Clarkson covered the first KU title as a KU freshman in 1952. After a long career that has included The National Geographic Society, Sports Illustrated, Time, the Denver Post and the Topeka Capital-Journal, he now publishes fine commemorative books.
Clarkson presents this special portfolio of KU's shining moments in 112 stunning pages and capped by the iconic image of the 2008 title game-Mario Chalmers' jumper.