OCTOBER 15, 2007
It is with much sadness that we must report the death of Formula 1 photographer Glenn Campbell, fondly known as "Rhinestone" by his many friends in the F1 world, because of US country singer Glen Campbell, who was best known for his hit "Rhinestone Cowboy".
A Canadian by birth, he started out as a professional ice hockey player but his career was cut short by serious injury and he turned his attention to photography and in the 1980s became Marlboro's official photographer in Formula 1. This gave him extraordinary access to McLaren in the era of Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger and he took many memorable pictures of those great years. He then went on to spend two years in the United States chronicling the adventures of Nigel Mansell in Indycar racing before returning to F1 again in 1994. That year he was the only photographer who got into the secret tests before the launch of the Rothmans Williams F1 team with Senna, which resulted in the team threatening to ban him from events, although the threat was never carried out as the team liked him so much. When Senna was killed at Imola that year Campbell was at the scene of the accident, taking photographs over the top of an advertising hoarding, standing on a scooter with his arm outstretched and unable to see the images he was taking. When he downloaded the photographs into his computer he was horrified by what he saw and although he might have made a fortune from selling them, deleted them all, arguing that he did not want Senna to be remembered in that way. In recent years Campbell had worked for AFP, Getty Images and other agencies.
Campbell was a gentle giant who always had a smile. He had been suffering from throat cancer for some time.