New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Herb Scharfman

Herb Scharfman (Photographer.  Born, Chicago, IL, Aug. 24, 1911; died, Scottsdale, AZ, Feb. 21, 1998.)  Herb Scharfman became one of the best known photographers in sports through his work in the pages of Sports Illustrated, but he actually got his start as a motorcycle messenger for the International News Services’ photo division.  Scharfman joined I.N.S. in 1932 and, during the depths of the Depression, he made a gutsy gamble when he borrowed $100 to purchase a camera.  It was a young man’s gamble that worked.  For nearly a quarter-century, Scharfman was one of I.N.S.’ leading photographers and built a strong reputation in sports in particular.  In June 1958, the I.N.S. operation was virtually discontinued as International News Service was merged into United Press to create the present United Press International.  Scharfman was laid off along with most of the I.N.S. staff.  Scharfman then joined the four-year-old Sports Illustrated, the publication being produced by Time Incorporated, and he quickly became one of its leading lensmen, producing numerous covers in almost all major sports.  He has also had a long-term relationship with the Dodgers and remained an annual visitor to spring training camp at Vero Beach, Fla., for many years.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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