Photographer John Beaver covered the first Super Bowl in 1967 at the age of only 15. He is currently the only photographer to shoot all the Super Bowls for over 50 years in the NFL Championship game.
His 56th Super Bowl was when Beaver was preparing to capture the Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. San Diego Union Tribune Has published a feature that looks back on the great careers of photographers so far and the 4-minute video above.
Biever was hooked on NFL photography, tagging with his father, Vernon, who was a team photographer for the Greenhouse Backpackers. This position gave Beaver the opportunity to cover the first Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, just seven miles from Sophie Stadium and the Super Bowl LVI.
Vernon featured a weekend gig that he was the official sideline photographer for Packers after serving in the Army during World War II. When his son was a teenager, he often took John to the game.
“His father handed him a camera and a few films, and he was free to roam bystanders and even the locker room.” Union Tribune Write. “It had one rule. Don’t get in the way. [legendary Packers coach Vince] Lombardi. “
When the name was retroactively renamed to Super Bowl I in the AFL-NFL World Championship game on January 15, 1967, 15-year-old John was a Green Bay Packers receiver Max McGee from the Packers Quarterback Bart Starr. 37 yard reception.
The Super Bowl is one of the hottest single sporting events in the world today, but in 1967, when the NFL and American football were still in their infancy, things were completely different.
“Surprisingly, it wasn’t that crowded and the bystanders weren’t busy at all,” says John. Union Tribune.. “Bob Hope was next to me for a while.” Wow, what’s happening here? ” [he thought to myself.] It was very exciting. “
After the game, John took another iconic photo of Lombardi stretching his arms as he celebrated the Packers’ victory. His father can be seen holding a camera behind Lombardi’s outstretched arms.
“It was important for me to put these two together in the picture,” says John.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, John became a photographer for a local newspaper, covering everything from sports to politics.
The next step in his career is for him to sample his work. Sports Illustrated magazine. A prominent sports publication began assigning him a freelance job, and eventually John became a contract photographer and a staff photographer. He has covered not only the Super Bowl, but also championships in a wide range of top sports leagues for over 30 years. Sports Illustrated..
In 2014, ESPN Films released a documentary of the title Streak Keeper This focused on the remaining four photographers who participated in and photographed all the Super Bowls in history. They were John Beaver, Walter Ios, Mickey Palmer and Tony Tomsick.
Biever and Iooss were the last two “keepers of the winning streak” in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iooss missed the first Super Bowl in 2021 and shot all the Super Bowls. He left Biever as the only photographer.
“John has always been a great photographer,” says Aios. Union Tribune.. “He is the last man standing for Streak and a good man for him.”
Biever acquired from Sports Illustrated in 2012, moved from Wisconsin to San Diego and married a longtime assistant.
The 70-year-old photographer is a bystander of the Super Bowl LVI with a Nikon camera and is ready to add to the most famous Super Bowl photo collection to date.