clarkson rich
Rich Clarkson
  • One of the most accomplished sports photographers in the nation
  • Photographed for three newspapers while still in high school
Clarkson, Rich
Inducted 2007

Born: August 11, 1932 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Graduated: Liberty Memorial H.S., 1950; University of Kansas, 1955


Richard C. Clarkson is one of the nation's most accomplished sports photographers, a position he has enjoyed for more than a half-century.  By his own admission, he was no athlete, but Clarkson holds a sports record unlikely to be broken soon.

Early Beginings in Photography

In high school, Clarkson's interest in photography grew, and he eventually became the schools in-demand photographer.  Because the town was the home of the University of Kansas, the big events in Lawrence were college sports.  By the time he was a senior in high school, Clarkson was photographing the KU basketball games for the Kansas City Star, the Topeka Daily Capital and the Lawrence Journal-World.  He continued as a stringer through his own years at KU, where he majored in journalism.

Career Highlights

In 2005, he photographed his 50th NCAA college basketball championship, shooting his first in 1952 and not missing one since 1960.  Along the way, Clarkson's pictures have helped redefine the way we look at sports.  The Final Four is just one facet of a remarkable career with roots reaching back to the 1940s.  Over his career, Clarkson also has photographed several Super Bowls, nine Olympiads, and innumerable other events.

Click here to see Rich's Kansas Sports Hall of Fame induction speech