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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.
Award-winning photographer George Kalinsky is one of the most famous image makers of our time… or any time. His lens has captured some of the most important faces, places, and events in the world of sports, entertainment, and politics.
As the official photographer of Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, he has created many iconic images. Newsmakers such as Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Peggy Fleming, Pope John Paul II, Luciano Pavarotti, Patrick Ewing, Bill Russell, and Mariano Rivera have all stated that George Kalinsky has taken their favorite photograph. George has also captured the world’s greatest rock stars on the world’s greatest stage. His iconic shots of Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, and Billy Joel are all displayed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Recently, a photo painting Kalinsky created of Michael Jordan became a special birthday gift for President Obama, given to him by the First Lady.
Kalinsky’s honors and awards include the 2001 PMDA International Photographer of the Year (highest award in the photo industry), the National Center for Disabilities Sportsman of the Year (2001), the New York Board of Rabbis Man of the Year (2006), the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inductee (2007), the Pratt Institute Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), the National Arts Club Medal of Honor (2010), the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2010), and the New York Knickerbockers Legacy Award (2015). Among the many venues in which his work has been exhibited are the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, and The Olympus Plaza Gallery in Tokyo. His works are also part of the permanent collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cornell University, the New York Governor’s Mansion, the Jewish Museum of New York, the Southern Vermont Arts Center, the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, and Madison Square Garden.
Since 2008, some of George’s most iconic photographs have been displayed on huge billboards in New York City’s Times Square, drawing the attention of millions of passers-by every day. In addition to his ten published books, which have sold more than 2 million copies, Kalinsky’s photos have also appeared in hundreds of other books, magazines, newspapers and web sites throughout the world.
Currently, Frank Sinatra Enterprises is producing a documentary on George’s 49-year career.
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.
- 2015 - Recipient of New York Knicks' Dick McGuire Legacy Award.
- Served on the Fulbright Scholarship Foundation
- Included in New York Resident's list of top 100 New Yorkers.