Proud of East Texas: Gary Edwards - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Proud of East Texas: Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards ( Source: KLTV) Gary Edwards ( Source: KLTV)
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

Gary Edwards has been a journalist for fifty years, with 25 of those years spent with United Press International.

He's been on the sidelines at events that most people can only dream of.

“What's really fun about it, somebody pays me and expenses to go to something other people spend thousands of dollars to do,” said Edwards.

In addition to the fourteen Super Bowls, Edwards has covered three Olympics, three World Series, 8 Masters Golf tournaments, 2 heavyweight boxing championships, U.S. Opens and PGA tours.

“If you allow yourself to become a spectator you lose your picture,” said Edwards. “You don't shoot the picture and so you really do have to focus and this was before automatic focus cameras.”

Edwards said his journalism career began with a failure.

When he was in the Air Force studying electronics, the instructor failed everyone in class. Edwards then signed up for a photography class.

“I went to a pawn shop, paid ten dollars for a 35-millimeter camera, entered a picture I took of a cat in a tree in a contest and won ten dollars,” said Edwards. “I took the ten dollars and went back to the pawn shop and bought a little better camera and the rest is history.”

After he left the Air Force, Edwards went to work for his hometown newspaper. 

At the time, he was also doing some stringing for UPI, covering Cornell University sports.

When one of Edwards shots landed a full page in Life magazine, he was on his way.

“That got everybody's attention and I was finally offered a job with UPI in Buffalo, New York and that started the career that lasted 25 years,” said Edwards.

While travel and events were an exciting part of Edward’s career, he says it's the people he met along the way that mattered most.

“When I was working in Philadelphia, I got to meet the most intimidating person I’ve ever met...named Wilt Chamberlain,” said Edwards.

Jersey Joe Wolcott, Nolan Ryan, and Ross Perot are some more of Edwards favorites.

Although Gary Edwards is retired from the world stage, he stays busy with his East Texas Reflections, connecting the world to east Texas.

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