For the past 30 years, Associated Press photographer Dave Martin took memorable images of major news events around the world. Martin was covering the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31, 2013 at the Georgia Dome. Within seconds of Texas A&M's victory over Duke, Martin was on the field to take shots of the celebration. Sadly, the Associated Press reported that the photos he took were his last, as he collapsed on the field of an apparent heart attack. Georgia Dome officials say CPR was administered to 59-year-old Martin on the field and he was taken to Emory Hospital Midtown where he died early Wednesday morning.
Dave Martin was known for taking a perfectly timed shot of winning athletes dumping water or Gatorade on their coach and that is what he did moments before he collapsed. Martin ran onto field and took perfect pictures of Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin being drenched with water by his players.
Martin's photography career began in 1982 at the Lakeland Ledger in Lakeland, Fla. He joined the AP in 1983 as a staff photographer in Mongomery, Ala., and was named regional photo editor for the South in 2004.
Dave Martin covered almost every major news event in the South. Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf oil spill and the tornadoes that devastated Alabama in 2011 were some of his best told stories through the pictures he captured. Martin also covered events including Super Bowls, Nascar and the Olympics, as well as political conventions and conflicts in Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq.
Dave Martin's colleagues describe him as a friend, mentor, and say "he typically had the best picture no matter what the event."
Alabama governor Robert Bentley spoke highly of Martin in a statement issued on Wednesday. Gov. Bentley traveled with Martin to document the tornadoes in 2011 and described him as one of the best photographers he has ever worked with.
"Dave Martin was one of the best photojournalists that I have had the privilege of working with over the years," said Gov. Bentley.
Martin is survived by his wife, Jamie Martin, and their two children, Emily and Skip.