Photographer Les King Jr. Dies

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Noted racing photographer Lester R. “Les” King Jr. died Aug. 2 at Albany Memorial Hospital after struggling for many years with health problems that kept him away from the racing that he loved.

A draftsman by trade, King began shooting open-cockpit racing in his native New England as a youth and amassed an amazing portfolio of photographs and negatives.

Combined with a photographic memory that let him identify not only who was in the photo but where and when it was taken, King was an invaluable resource to the Saratoga Automobile Museum in his later years, providing pictures for a number of exhibits in the “Racing in New York” gallery.

At various times, King served as club photographer for the American Racing Drivers Club, United Racing Club and the Northeast Midget Ass’n and has also supplied pictures for the Atlantic Coast Old Timers, the Northeast Stock Car Old Timers and NASCAR.

Amazingly, King attended events at countless tracks without driving there, hitching rides with drivers, race teams and friends.

King served ACOT as vice-president for two terms and was an avid historian. His “Rand Special,” a typical homebuilt “big car” of the 1930s and 40’s, is currently on display at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

Services will be in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday.

 

 

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Ron Hedger
A veteran of nearly 40 years with SPEED SPORT, Hedger has also covered auto racing for the Schenectady, N.Y., Daily Gazette and was a contributor to Stock Car Racing and Open Wheel magazines.