Co Rentmeester

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Co Rentmeester
Co Rentmeester (1967).jpg
Rentmeester in front of his picture, that became World Press Photo of the Year 1967
Personal information
Birth nameJacobus Willem Rentmeester
Born (1936-02-28) 28 February 1936 (age 83)

Jacobus "Co" Willem Rentmeester (born 28 February 1936) is a Dutch rower. He later became a photojournalist and covered the Vietnam War among other newsworthy events.

Life and career[edit]

Rentmeester was born in 1936 in Amsterdam.[1] He competed with Peter Bakker in double scull and won bronze at the 1959 European Rowing Championships in Mâcon, France.[2] Bakker and Rentmeester reached the finals in double scull for the Netherlands at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome where they came fifth.[3] In early 1961, Rentmeester moved to the United States and studied photography at the Art Center College in Los Angeles.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts, Rentmeester initially started his career as a freelance photographer in 1965 for Life Magazine. A short time later, he joined the LIFE Staff from April 1966 thru 1972 when LIFE Magazine folded. He first covered the Watts Riots in Los Angeles, documenting many of the dramatic events, which earned him his first accolades as a photographer.

Between late 1965 and 1969 Rentmeester was in Asia, where he particularly covered the Vietnam war. One of his pictures showed an M48 tank gunner looking through a gunsight. It was selected as World Press Photo of the Year and notably it was the first color photograph to win the award. He was also in Hong Kong during the extensive civil disturbances in 1967.

After Rentmeester was wounded by a Vietcong sniper near Saigon, he returned to the U.S. in 1972, his pictures from a travel through Indonesia were shown in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and Asia House, New York.

In the following years, Rentmeester worked for numerous major publications as a photojournalist and as an advertising photographer


  • 1967: World Press Photo of the Year, 1st prize
  • 1972: Magazine photographer of the Year, School of Journalism, University of Missouri
  • 1973: World Press Photo, 1st prize in category Sports
  • 1976: New York Art Directors Club award for his photo essay on Thomas Jefferson
  • 1979: World Press Photo: 2nd prize in category Color picture stories
  • 1980: Missouri School of Journalism, award for an essay on the U.S. Air Force
  • 2001: KLM Paul Huf Award , Amsterdam The Netherlands
  • 2018: Lucy Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sports Photography


  • "Three Faces of Indonesia," 1974, Thames & Hudson Ltd.
  • "Holland on Ice," 1998, First Edition.
  • 'FOOTPRINTS" Co Rentmeester 2007, Uitgeverij de Kunst, Weesp, The Netherlands


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Ko Rentmeester". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  2. ^ Heckert, Karlheinz. "Rudern – Europameisterschaften (Herren – Doppelzweier)" (in German). Sport Komplett. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  3. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Netherlands Rowing at the 1960 Roma Summer Games". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 24 February 2018.

External links[edit]