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George Kalinsky is a photographer. He has been the official photographer for Madison Square Garden since 1966 and also serves as the official photographer at Radio City Music Hall. In November 2010 the National Arts Club awarded him their Medal of Honor for Photography.
In May 2009, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened an exhibit dedicated to photographs Kalinsky took at some of Madison Square Garden's most legendary concerts. Many of these photographs are now part of the Museum's permanent collection.
As the Official Photographer of Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, he took many well-known photographs of famous people. Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, and former Senator Bill Bradley all stated that George Kalinsky took their favorite photograph. His portraits include presidents from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton, and the Dalai Lama to Dolly Parton. Kalinsky also photographed Elvis Presley, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and others, all displayed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.
The photograph that Kalinsky took of Pope John Paul II holding up a little girl during a Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden was on the Pope's desk at the Vatican. As a gift from NBC, Jerry Seinfeld was presented with the Kalinsky legendary photo of Willis Reed limping onto the court in 1970 inspiring the Knicks to become champions. Billy Crystal asked Kalinsky to be with him on stage to photograph his final Broadway performance of “700 Sundays” in 2006.
Since 2008, some of Kalinsky's photographs have been displayed on huge billboards in New York City’s Times Square, including a four-story high photograph of Elvis Presley, taken during his only Madison Square Garden engagement.
Almost three million copies have been sold of ten books written by Kalinsky and his photos have appeared in hundreds of books on many subjects. His photos have appeared in many magazines, including Time, People, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated, with over 1,000 covers.
George Kalinsky's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography, the Olympus Plaza Gallery in Tokyo (drawing a record crowd of 200,000 people), and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. His work is part of many permanent collections including The Governor’s Mansion in Albany, NY, The Jewish Museum of New York, the Baseball and Basketball Halls of Fame, and Madison Square Garden.
Championships won by New York City teams
- 1970 NBA Finals–Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers for their first NBA championship.
- 1986 World Series–Mets defeat the Boston Red Sox to win World Series.
- 1994 Stanley Cup Finals–Rangers win Stanley Cup–first in 54 years–over the Vancouver Canucks.
- 1980 Democratic National Convention
- 1992 Democratic National Convention
- 2004 Republican National Convention
- The Fight of the Century, March 8, 1971, between champion Joe Frazier and challenger Muhammad Ali
- The Concert for Bangladesh, August 1, 1971
- Ali-Frazier II, January 28, 1974
- John Lennon's final live performance, November 28, 1974
- Pope John Paul II's papal mass at Madison Square Garden, October 3, 1979
- Wayne Gretzky's final game, April 18, 1999
- Subway Series of 2000
- The Concert for New York City to honor the victims of the September 11 attacks, October 20, 2001
- From the Big Apple to the Big Easy concert to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, September 20, 2005
Honors and Awards
- 2001 - Recipient of the highest award given by the photography industry (PMDA) as International Photographer of the Year.
- 2001 - Named "Sportsman of the Year" by the National Center for Disabilities, an organization for which he served as co-chairman.
- 2001 - Named "Man of the Year" by Pratt Institute, where he had been a design student.
- 2007 - Inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
- 2008 - Recipient of Pratt Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award.
- 2010 - New York City Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
- 2010 - Recipient of National Arts Club's Medal of Honor for Photography.
- Served on the Fulbright Scholarship Foundation
- Included in New York Resident's list of top 100 New Yorkers.
- George Kalinsky