East Texas sports photographer looks back on 50-year career

An East Texas man remembers his time over a 50 year career as a photoghrapher, taking some of the most iconic images in sports.
Published: Nov. 13, 2022 at 5:14 PM CST
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HOLLY LAKE RANCH, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas man remembers his time over a 50 year career as a photographer, taking some of the most iconic images in sports.

Retired and living in Holly Lake Ranch, 82 year old Gary Edwards is not a household name. But it’s a sure bet that sometime in your life you’ve seen one of his iconic sports pictures.

“It actually started in the air force, ‘Shaw air force base’, where they taught how to be a photographer,” Gary says.

It was a bizarre picture from a 1965 Cornell-Princeton football game that propelled Edwards to a career.

“Princeton was going to kick a 54-yard field goal. Defensive backs stood up on their linemens shoulder pads, I took a picture of it from the end zone. and it went nation wide,” Edwards sasys.

He worked for ‘United Press International’ for decades, taking photographs of sports and politics, and his images have graced the covers of numerous newspapers and magazines such as ‘Life’ and Sports illustrated.

“You have to get somebody’s attention to succeed in anything. If you wanted to be invited back to an event, you’d better be pretty good.

Competition between photographers, good photographers on the sidelines, is every bit as fierce as completion on the basketball court or the football field,” he says.

Edwards covered 14 super bowls, 8 masters golf tournaments, countless other events from baseball to the Olympics, with many of his photo’s held as a standard of excellence in photography.

His image of Jack Nicklaus at the masters is a classic.

“Jack was making his run, and I literally got in position 10 seconds before he putted. 15 seconds later I’d never had that picture,” says Gary.

His pictures were even recognized by a former president.

“A fellah said you need to come in here to the press box and say hello. And he took be into the press box, and there stood Lyndon Johnson. He acts like he knows me and I’m his brother, and like, golly gee. That was a really neat moment in life,” he says.

Edwards went to work for the ‘Mineola Monitor’ for many years and won numerous awards for photographer and journalist of the year before retiring.