Award winning photographer, George Kalinsky, is one of the most famous image makers of our time, or anytime. His lens has captured some of the most important faces, places and events in the world of sports, entertainment and politics. With his love for boxing and his creativity, George conceived the idea of “Rope a Dope” for Muhammad Ali after Ali told George, he cannot beat George Foreman.
As the official photographer of Madison Square Garden and Radio City, he has created many iconic images, such as Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Luciano Pavarotti, Pope John Paul II, Billie Jean King, Bill Russel, Peggy Fleming, Mariano Rivera and Patrick Ewing have stated that Kalinsky has taken their favorite photographs.
A few days after Frank Sinatra passed away in 1998, Tina Sinatra called George with tears in her voice to let him know that of all the photos that she has ever seen of his father, no one captured his essence as well as the ones that George took.
In May of 2009, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame dedicated an exhibit of George’s iconic photos of rock stars including Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Some of Kalinsky’s most iconic photos have been displayed on huge billboards in New York City’s Time Square, drawing attention of millions of passerby’s every day. No photographer’s work has ever been so grand or prominently displayed. There were 100 foot images of some of George’s greatest images.
On December 12, 2016, The New York Historical Society Museum unveiled the “I am King of the World” photographs of Muhammad Ali by George Kalinsky. This critically acclaimed exhibit visually portrays the close relationship that developed between the champ and the photographer throughout nearly 50 years of friendship. The exhibition was up for two years.
In 1971, George took the fist nose to nose shots ever! They were of Joe Fraizer and Muhammad Ali. It became the signature photo for the “Fight of the Century”. The poster was seen by millions all over the world.
George was the first photographer to take candid photos of boxers doing what they do in their private world. Newspapers all over the world could not get enough of George’s candid boxing photos as they were used as full pages on the front and back pages.
Kalinsky’s work has also been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography, The Olympus Plaza Gallery and of course Madison Square Garden where over 200,000 people attended.
Kalinsky has authored 10 books, 1,000 covers and photographed almost 10,000 events. One of his favorite shots is of his protégé, Frank Sinatra, shooting ringside and showing his big blue eyes at “The Fight of the Century”.
In 2001, George was honored with the highest award you can win in the photography industry with PMDA’s “International Photographer of the Year”. In 2010, he was awarded The National Arts Club Medal of Honor. In 2010, he was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame and later in 2015, into the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame. In 2018, George was awarded Pratt Institute’s prestigious “Legend of the Year” honor.
In 2019, The Library of Congress in Washington has included George’s Kalinsky’s photography to their permanent collection. A documentary is currently in production on George’s life and career and is planned for release in 2020. A book on his life and illustrious career will follow in 2021.
On September 10th, 2021 George was inducted into The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and was award The Kurt Goudy Electronic Media Award.