Co Rentmeester

The Netherlands
Dutch/American photojournalist Co Rentmeester (Amsterdam 1936) was an Olympic rowing champion, reaching an honorable fifth place at the 1960 Olympic Summer Games in Rome, before turning his attention to photography. After ending his rowing career, Rentmeester emigrated to the United States to study photography at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. After his graduation, he drew immediate attention with his coverage of the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles for Life magazine. In 1966, Rentmeester became a staff photographer at Life magazine, which sent him to the war in Vietnam. His image of a US tank commander became World Press Photo of the Year in 1967, the first color photo ever awarded this prize. After he was seriously injured by a sniper shot in May 1968, he returned to the US. Back home, he started working for magazines such as Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, People, Stern and the New York Times Magazine. In 1972, Co Rentmeester became Magazine Photographer of the Year and his photo of Olympic Gold swimmer Mark Spitz was awarded the 1st prize in World Press Photo’s sports category. Rentmeester is also a very successful commercial photographer, who worked on such well known campaigns as Marlboro and Nike Air.