Thomas Hoepker first met Muhammad Ali in 1960 while on assignment and went on to photograph the world heavyweight champion a number of times. Pictured here, Ali showing off his left fist to the camera. “On my contact sheet from 1966 this picture looked hopelessly under-exposed, dark and dirty. But when I scanned the negative, I saw another aspect of the ‘Greatest’ – Ali, the dark and brutal fighter, but also Muhammad Ali, the wounded and scarred victim, who had received countless punches from his opponents during his career,” Hoepker said.

I am not an artist. I am an image maker

Thomas Hoepker
© Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos

Thomas Hoepker studied art history and archeology, then worked as a photographer for Münchner Illustrierte and Kristall magazines between 1960 and 1963, reporting from all over the world. Specializing in reportage and stylish color features, he received the prestigious Kulturpreis of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie in 1968.

As well as numerous critically acclaimed photo projects, he worked as a cameraman and producer of documentary films, including the award winning Death in a Cornfield. Hoepker currently lives in New York. He shoots and produces TV documentaries together with his wife, Christine Kruchen.

© Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos

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