Skip to main content
Original Issue

Leading Off


B/W PHOTO: JOHN G. ZIMMERMAN JOHN G. ZIMMERMAN 1927-2002 John Zimmerman, who died last Saturday of lymphoma in Monterey, Calif., shot 107 covers for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, including five swimsuit issues. Noted for his technical wizardry, Zimmerman also took brilliant action photos. To wit: this unforgettable image of Chuck Bednarik after his epic hit on Frank Gifford at Yankee Stadium in 1960. Even now Gifford finds Zimmerman's shot almost as chilling as Bednarik's.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN G. ZIMMERMAN Flash Forward Photographers made do with arena lighting until Zimmerman began rigging his own strobes overhead to illuminate the action. That technique enabled him to create this 1956 tableau of Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante and the Rangers' fans at Madison Square Garden.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN G. ZIMMERMAN With a Twist This 1980 shot of U.S. diver Jenni Chandler shows the depth of Zimmerman's inventiveness. Using a partially submerged camera, he fired four strobes during her dive while leaving the shutter open, then refocused after her entry and triggered a fifth strobe for the underwater image.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN G. ZIMMERMAN Glass Eye In his constant search for different angles, Zimmerman found a way to rise above the NBA's biggest names in 1961. A remote stationed behind the backboard captured Wilt Chamberlain's tip-in over Bill Russell (bottom right).