I.C. Rapoport. Interview
I.C. Rapoport studied photography at Ohio University. In 1959, Rapoport impressed PARIS MATCH with his photo-reportage work and began shooting assignments for MATCH. He later worked for The Saturday Evening Post, TIME, LIFE and Sports Illustrated. His LIFE photo essay of the aftermath of the horrendous Aberfan Welsh mining avalanche brought his reportage work to national attention. He is well known as the photographer with the only photographs of Joseph H. Pilates, the originator of the Pilates exercise method.
Rapoport is also known for his award-winning writing for the television series Law & Order.
IC Rapoport, age 24.
Photographer: Michael Amberger
How many years have you been a photographer?
I began my career as a photojournalist in 1959 – I worked as a photographer for 12 years then switched to screenwriting in 1971.
Which photo reportages were your best? Which of your pictures do you like the most?
My photo-essay for LIFE MAGAZINE – my five weeks in Aberfan, Wales after the awful disaster, documenting the recovery and beginnings of new life after 116 children and 28 adults were killed by a devastating landslide – was the best work of my entire career.
The very first notable was FIDEL CASTRO. After his successful revolution deposing the dictator of Cuba, Fulgencio Batista, Castro made an unexpected visit to New York in April 1959. I waited, all night, along with several other journalists in the corridor outside his Hotel New Yorker suite until we were invited into interview him at 3 in the morning. I made this iconic photo of a 34 year old revolutionary, only 4 months after his victory. Note: He was considered a hero by almost all Americans at this time in history.
Shortly thereafter, I photographed up and coming French film director Francois Truffaut after his Oscar nomination for best Foreign Language Film, Les Quatre Cents Coups (the 400 Blows).
Most well known is my 1961 photograph of Marilyn Monroe exiting the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. All these were done for PARIS MATCH magazine.
Then in October 1961 I was asked by Sports Illustrated magazine to photograph Mr. Joseph Pilates in his NY gymnasium on 8th Avenue.
What is your favorite picture of Joe?
The Barrel. The lighting is perfect. The man on the barrel is so wonderfully lit. Joe – in his white shirt and trunks. Though there are many lovely photos of Joe Pilates, this one stands out. And it appears to be a favorite of many Pilates devotees.
We all know that your biggest treasure in life is Mary. Tell us about your story.
January 27th, 1961 San Juan, Puerto Rico There was a big story happening in the Caribbean.
A cruise ship had been hijacked by some Portuguese rebels and was missing somewhere on the seas. PARIS MATCH sent me down to San Juan to cover the story.
My friend Dick Steedman was a photographer for the San Juan Star and I called him to meet up.
When I rang up Dick, he was excited to hear that I was down on the island and we made a lunch date to meet at my hotel. He was curious as to what it looked like inside having watched it being built over the past year.
When we finally connected on the Miramar’s sunny patio, he had in tow a quite attractive young woman of nineteen who had flown down to the warmth of the Caribbean from New York a few days earlier. Dick told me they had only just met the night before at a prenuptial party of two mainland expatriates who had, ironically, met at a previous wedding the year before.
Full text available in 'Pilates4you Journal «Pilates Plus Psyche»'