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Storied NFL photographer Tony Tomsic passes away

His images were an enduring and outstanding hallmark of NFL autumns for more than a half-century.

His photos told thousands of stories through the seasons, weaving the tale of the NFL's highlights and history.

A husband, a father and one of the finest photojournalists in his field, Tony Tomsic passed away on Sunday following a brief illness. He was 84.

The Ohio-based photographer's career climbed to greater than 60 years, working much of them for The Cleveland Press, along with Sports Illustrated with a parade of his shots adorning the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Perhaps most famously, he was featured in the documentary Keepers of the Streak as he, along with John Biever, Walter Iooss and Mickey Palmer, covered the first 48 Super Bowls. Tomsic's final Super Bowl shots came to be at Super Bowl 50 in 2016 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Thus, he shot Bart Starr quarterbacking the Green Bay Packers to the first-ever Super Bowl crown all the way to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos celebrating the 50th rendition of the big game.

Tomsic's skills extended beyond football to other sports and the news front.

According to, over the years, the photographer developed close relationships with NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown and Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel, along with the likes of Ted Williams, Art Modell, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and Muhammad Ali.

Tomsic is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betsy, two daughters, Tami and Tali, and two granddaughters.

As fall turned to winter and the NFL grew into America's favorite passion, he saw it all through his lens and chronicled it with his lasting images.

To see some of Tony Tomsic's finest NFL work through the years, click here.

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