It was the annual rivalry between Trinity College and Princeton University squash teams, and the players were lining up to be introduced. If Trinity won, they would go on to vie for their 13th straight National Championship, unprecedented in college sports history.
Against the backdrop of the white walled squash court stood a man dressed in black, his Nike D3 S poised and ready to pop. It was Dick Druckman, Trinity’s official photographer for the past 13 years, a sports photographer of international renown, and the owner of the largest sports photography gallery in the country.
Trinity was Dick’s alma mater, and he was nervous, even though he’d captured dozens of more famous sports rivalries at the past 10 Super Bowls, World Series, and Olympic Games. Those once-in-a lifetime photos made the pages of Sports Illustrated, USA Today, USA Today Sports, Parade Magazine, and The Associated Press, which placed them in newspapers around the world, not to mention the covers of Squash Magazine and the recently published book, Run to the Roar, by Trinity Squash Coach Paul Assiante.
Druckman’s rise to prominence in the world of sports photography is as remarkable as his pictures. Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, he went on to earn a BA degree from Trinity and an MBA from Columbia University. He then married his sweetheart Joan before beginning a successful career at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in Princeton, New Jersey, where he eventually became vice president of strategic planning.
In 1984 Dick took his family to the Los Angeles Olympics and had a number of his photographs published by several news agencies. It was at this point, that his passion for photography turned from a hobby to a profession and ultimately to a second career. In 2001, Dick retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb and he established his sports photography gallery and business, Gold Medal Impressions, Inc., which is now the l argest sports photography gallery in the country.
“My interest in the camera began as a child,” he says. “My dad, a salesman, was a camera buff. He took moving pictures with an 8-millimeter camera and stills with a Kodak Brownie. He had calendars made of my two sisters and me to give to his customers. Like my Dad, my first camera was a Kodak Brownie, but I soon graduated to an Olympus and then a Nikon.”