Biever to be Inducted into Packer HOF

Vernon J. Biever, whose outstanding work has long been on display for thousands of fans who pass through the Packer Hall of Fame every year, will be inducted into the Hall on July 13, 2002. The Packers' official team photographer since 1941, Biever will be presented for induction by Packer all-time great Bart Starr.

Biever is known nationwide for his many classic pro football images, particularly his classic black and white photos taken during the team's Glory Years under Vince Lombardi. A quiet, humble man, Biever was deeply moved when he learned of his selection to the Packer Hall of Fame.

"It's a big thrill," he said. "This is my 60th year doing this sort of thing and maybe it's appreciated more by waiting that long. I guess you're dumbfounded, for one thing. I knew that I had been on the list for a couple of years but never quite passed the test. Now, with it actually happening, I guess I'm kind of choked up and not knowing what to say."

Biever's work has chronicled six NFL championship teams and the careers of 15 Pro Football Hall of Famers. He's been on the sidelines with every coach from Curly Lambeau to Mike Sherman. Players like Starr, Ray Nitschke, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Willie Davis, Brett Favre, Reggie White and many others became subjects for Biever's timeless photographic artistry and have graced the pages countless sports publications and virtually every major newspaper in the country.

Biever, who owns a travel agency in Port Washington, has earned numerous awards from the National Football League and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Photographer of the Year. His work also is on display in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and has been included in a number of television documentaries on the ESPN Classic network.

Asked to describe his approach and philosophy on snapping pictures amidst the violent mayhem of professional football, Biever simply says his goal is to get that "one shot" each year. "If I can get just one shot a season, I've had a good year," he says with a smile. By that standard, he's enjoyed more than a lifetime of "good years" as longtime Packer fans can attest.

In Biever's 1997 book, "The Glory of Titletown," former Packer running back John Brockington said of Biever, "That man is a pro, that guy. Vernon knows what he is doing. I remember him on the sidelines, three or four cameras around his neck, hanging in there with plays coming toward him, shooting. But he never got hit, which is more than I can say for Dan Devine. You get your butt out of the way, that's what you do. You got six, seven hundred pounds coming at you, two or three bodies running, you can't stop that. They'll roll you up like a blanket. I can't remember Vernon ever getting caught like that, though. Too quick on his feet. Too wily."

Biever's two sons, John and Jim, have followed in his career footsteps. John is a photographer for Sports Illustrated while Jim works the sidelines at all Packer games, shooting pictures for the team and NFL Properties with his dad.

Packer Report Top Stories