About Howard L. Bingham
Nationality: United States
Born: May 29, 1939 - December 15, 2016
Howard Bingham was a photographer and friend of Mohammad Ali. The first meeting in 1962, when Ali was still Cassius Clay, the pair had an immediate rapport that led to a lifelong friendship.
Bingham initially failed a photography course before picking up an apprenticeship at the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper. There he worked under the guidance of chief photographer Cliff Hall, gaining experience and an introduction to Clay.
It's estimated that Bingham took a million pictures of the boxing icon over the course of 50 years or more.
In the 1960s, Bingham began covering riots. He was an easygoing man and expressed that he had no fear of being hurt. Subsequently, he was put on a 'riot retainer' and covered them whenever violence erupted. He worked extensively for Life magazine. Covering stories of racial tensions, including the Black Panther movement.
In the summer of 1967, Life had wanted a story on the Panthers. Life was granted permission to interview Eldridge Cleaver, the Panther's minister of information, from his prison cell. The one condition was that Howard Bingham would be assigned to take the photographs. Bingham said. "That was the first surprise, as I had never even met him." He also photographed a variety of other stories about the Panthers Life Magazine ran over the years.
Bingham is noted as one of the first black photographers to work on a guided Hollywood camera crew. His images have been run in publications such as Look, Time, Newsweek, Ebony, and others.
In 1993, Bingham published a book of photographs, "Muhammad Ali: A Thirty-Year Journey," in which he wrote:
"I have had the greatest of all blessings because my eye and my camera became the world's window to this magnificent life."
It's reported that when he and Ali first met Nelson Mandela, after hugging them both, Mandela turned to Ali and asked, "Do you know how lucky you are to have a friend like Howard Bingham?"
1. Howard Bingham obituary. (2016, December 27). the Guardian. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/dec/27/howard-bingham-obituary
2. Howard Bingham. (2022, October 31). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Bingham
3. Howard L. Bingham, Muhammad Ali’s Longtime photographer, dies at 77 (Published 2016). (2016, December 21). The New York Times - Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/sports/howard-l-bingham-muhammad-alis-longtime-photographer-dies-at-77.html