Sports photograher to meet/greet at Caesars

December 04, 2007 7:01 AM
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Famed sports photographer Neil Leifer, whose photo of Muhammad Ali standing over a beaten Sonny Liston has become an all-time classic, will greet visitors in the Neil Leifer Gallery at Caesars on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

During Leifer’s visit, the award-winning photographer will sign any of his books, or photographic prints. Admission to the gallery is free of charge.

Over his career, Leifer’s photographs have graced more than 200 covers of Sports Illustrated, Time or Newsweek magazines. His namesake gallery at Caesars Palace houses the only permanent collection of the photographer’s compelling images of sports and culture

Leifer is celebrating the release of his newest book of photographs — Neil Leifer Ballet in the Dirt: The Golden Age of Baseball, a tour-de-force chronicling America’s favorite pastime from the 1960 to the 1977 World Series.

The new book’s release has inspired recent additions of immortal baseball images to Leifer’s Caesars Palace photo gallery. These join iconic Leifer images such as portraits of NFL greats Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant and Joe Namath, the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team’s "miracle on ice" victory over the USSR and Secretariat’s historic Kentucky Derby rout.

Located on the casino level of the resort’s Augustus Tower, the Neil Leifer Gallery displays his most acclaimed sports photos, including Muhammad Ali’s victory over Sonny Liston — a split-second glimpse of the charisma that would define a new era in boxing and in sport. Ali-Liston was chosen as the cover photograph for a Sports Illustrated issue titled "The Century’s Greatest Sports Photos."

The August 2003 edition of London’s The Oberserver — Sports Monthly chose Leifer’s Muhammad Ali vs. Cleveland Williams picture No. 1, and his Ali-Liston image No. 2 in its ranking of the "World’s 50 Greatest Sports Photographs."

Growing up in New York’s Lower East Side, Leifer began submitting photos to Sports Illustrated and Life magazine in 1958, at the tender age of 15. He was only 18 when SI published the first of his 170 cover photos.

Stalking history in his viewfinder, he left Sports Illustrated in 1978 to join the staff of Time magazine where his 40 cover photo subjects ranged from President Ronald Reagan with Vice President George H.W. Bush to the Space Shuttle Columbia; from Animals of Africa to Pope John Paul II’s Visit to America. Newsweek published Leifer’s preview cover of America’s Olympic basketball Dream Team.

Leifer has published more than a dozen books of his photographs, and his work has toured prestigious art galleries in dozens of Leifer exhibits, but the Caesars Palace venue was the first and is only one that is dedicated specifically to his work and is the only gallery that bears his name.

Last year, he received the prestigious Lucie Award — the premiere honor in photography — for outstanding achievement in sports photography.

The Neil Leifer Gallery at Caesars Palace is open seven days weekly, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information about Caesars Palace and high-resolution photos of this and other Caesars Palace attractions, visit media.harrahs.com