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Remembering Dave Martin Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

2 January 2014

Time had expired as Dave Martin ran onto the field at the Georgia Dome to capture Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel celebrating his team's 52-48 victory over Duke.

But Martin collapsed before he could take the shot. The medical staffs of both teams came to his aid, administering CPR. Paramedics arrived just minutes later to revive him. But the 59-year-old Associated Press photographer passed away from an apparent heart attack in the early hours of New Year's Day at Emory Hospital Midtown.

But Martin had manage to get his signature shot: victorious Aggie's coach Kevin Sumlin getting doused with a barrel of water.

For 30 years the Alabama-based photojournalist covered every major news event in the South, including Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf oil spill and the 2011 tornadoes that swept through Alabama. As a sports photographer, he covered Super Bowls, the Olympics and Ryder Cups. And he reported from political conventions, Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq, as well.

The Kansas City Star has published a set of 32 of his best images. And the San Francisco 49ers posted 41 images in their collection of The Best of Dave Martin.

His images tell the story, capturing not just the action but the moment that expressed what had just happened.

Reflecting on Martin's career, AP Vice President and Director of Photography Santiago Lyon said:

Dave Martin was an excellent photojournalist, a consummate and dedicated professional and a wonderful person. Wherever his work took him he made many friends and will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

And in fact, as impressive as his portfolio is, he was legendary for taking the time to help younger photographers master the craft even as they were competing with him. To get into position, to work with the lighting, to wait for the moment. A Facebook tribute page includes comments from some of them.

Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley, who knew him personally, issued the following statement:

Dave Martin was one of the best photojournalists that I have had the privilege of working with over the years. He has covered nearly every major news event in the South over his 30 year career. He traveled with me in the aftermath of the April 2011 tornado outbreak, and told the story of the storm's devastation in some of the best photos I have seen. Dave was well respected by all those who knew him and worked with him, and he leaves a great legacy of work with the Associated Press. Dianne and I are praying for Dave's wife Jamie, who is a valuable member of my staff, and their children Emily and Skip. May God bring them comfort and peace in the difficult days ahead.

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