Stanley Weston was born in Bronx, NY, 1919. The family moved to Long Beach, NY and were neighbors of Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer. Stanley cut the grass for the Fleischers as a teenager and Mr. Fleischer knew Weston was artistically inclined and asked him to colorize large black and white boxing photographs with oil colors. This launched what was to be his life long career as a photographer and publisher. He became a staff writer and artist for Ring Magazine, painting 57 original oil paintings which were used as Ring Magazine covers.
In 1941 Weston took a four-year leave of absence to serve in the Air Force during World War II. Upon returning to civilian life in 1945, he returned to The Ring, but left the publication in 1951. After another stint in the military during the Korean War, Weston launched Boxing & Wrestling magazine, a competitor to The Ring, in 1953. In 1958 he created Boxing Illustrated and published it until 1964.
Throughout his career, Stanley created many magazines including Boxing International, World Boxing, KO as well as many Wrestling magazines - Pro Wrestling Illustrated, being his most successful and still in publication today. In his efforts to record the times, Weston captured the boxers of his day in & outside the ring, resulting in powerful candid portraits and action shots.
He took over 1200 images of Muhammad Ali that captured his career from as early as 1962 when he was just a contender, to winning the title in Miami Beach, Florida in February 25, 1964, as well as a number of other fights and training shots. Other icons Weston photographed were; Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Patterson, Ezzard Charles, Sonny Liston, and Archie Moore.
His far reaching photography subjects include Bullfights, U.S. Generals - Eisenhower and MacArthur, 1960‘s Newport Tennis and a personal photo archive of American History and Baseball. Westons vast body of work is one of the most impressive historical records of the fight game in the mid 20th century and also include many of his own sketches and paintings.
Editorial: GETTY IMAGES
All images are © The Stanley Weston Archive / Patrick Scholz