ONEONTA, N.Y. (Friday, April 20, 2007) -- George Tiedemann, who has had more soccer images appear in Sports Illustrated than any other photographer, has been named the third recipient of the National Soccer Hall of Fame's Colin Jose Media Award recipient.
Tiedemann's photos appeared in many magazines, most notably SI in the 1970s and early 1980s, when soccer was not ingrained into the American culture as it is today. Those images include Americans Kyle Rote and Bob Rigby, along with international stars, such as Pele and Daniel Passarella of Argentina.
Tiedemann will be honored August 26 at the Hall of Fame, part of an induction weekend that will have the Class of 2007 entering the Hall. United States women's players Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, veteran player Bobby Smith and "builder" Alan Rothernberg will be inducted.
Jerry Trecker of the Hartford Courant, was the first Colin Jose award winner in 2004, followed by ESPN broadcaster Seamus Malin the following year.
Tiedemann "has the greatest opus of soccer photography in the last 50 years." Trecker said. "His importance cannot be overstated. Sports Illustrated was the cultural icon for sports reporting in the '70s before the widespread availability of cable television and the Internet, and it was not a soccer-friendly environment. The strength of George's images and his strong support for soccer in the editorial process at SI put soccer on the front cover and inside the magazine. When George arrived to photograph an event, it confirmed it was a big deal."
Tiedemann photographed five World Cups and three Women's World Cups, as well as many North American Soccer League matches.
"His work over a long period of time includes many of the finest soccer images in the United States," Hall of Fame president George Brown said. "His extensive photo exhibit documenting Pele's career in the NASL, including a stunning image of Pele with his Hall of Fame ring, has been exhibited in the Hall of Fame."
That exhibition, "A Celebration of Pele's American Years," was on display during World Cup USA '94 in New York City.
"Covering the NASL was a great opportunity for me and it led to many wonderful experiences, including the covering of eight World Cups," Tiedemann said. "I have been to numerous championships, such as the World Series, Super Bowl, the Olympics, NBA Championships, Stanley Cup and the NCAA Final Four. However, covering a World Cup is the ultimate challenge that makes all the others pale in comparison."
Tiedemann, was born in Iceland during World War II to a U.S. Army Air Corps sergeant and later moved to Libya where he learned to play soccer and take pictures. At the age of 17, he returned to the U.S. to finish high school.
During a four-year stint in the Marines, Tiedemann renewed his interest in photography while serving in Vietnam. After leaving the service, Tiedemann began a nine-year career as a newspaper staff photographer. Tiedemann then joined the Philadelphia Atoms as team photographer, leading to his hiring as the director of photography for the NASL. That experience led to a career at SI of more than 20 years, part pf a three-decade career shooting soccer.