Bob Dear, who died aged 69 after a stroke, was a talented photographer for the Associated Press, and covered wars in Iran and Beirut, riots in Northern Ireland and famines in Ethiopia as well as the Olympics, tennis, boxing and football.
Tennis was his love. Like the Duchess of Kent, Dear had his own seat at Wimbledon – only his was at court level. From this spot, he captured some great action from the Rod Laver era to the Boris Becker years.
His other sporting love was boxing and he was at ringside for scores of world-title fights from the Sixties to the Eighties.
Dear, himself, was a promising footballer who was on the books at Fulham.
He joined AP in September 1950 as a messenger. After military service, he rejoined in 1954 as assistant to the photo librarian, but his sights were set on becoming a full-time photographer and he became one of the best.
Regularly commended for his work at Wimbledon, Dear won an award at the 1983 World Press Photo contest for his Beirut coverage, an Ilford award for his boxing and other awards from AP managing editors.
Dear leaves a widow, Rosemary, who is financial controller at AP’s London bureau, and four children: Jill, Simon, Kim and Sarah-Jane.
Robert Millward, AP sports writer