The Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in Columbia will induct four award-winning photojournalists on Oct. 19.
This will be the 19th group of inductees since the founding of the Hall of Fame in 2005. Inductees are the late Randy Cox; Dennis Crider of West Plains; Sally Stapleton of Columbia; and Jill Toyoshiba of Kansas City.
Photographs made by the inductees will be on display during the 4 p.m. ceremony and reception in the Sam B. Cook Hall at the Center for Missouri Studies, the State Historical Society of Missouri’s location in downtown Columbia. Those photographs will join the Hall of Fame’s collection of work by inductees.
The Photojournalism Hall of Fame was founded at the urging of Bill Miller Sr., publisher of the Washington Missourian newspaper, to recognize outstanding contributors to visual communication with ties to Missouri.
Information about the Photojournalism Hall of Fame and previous inductees can be seen at photojournalismhalloffame.org. RSVP for the induction ceremony online at bit.ly/mophotoj or by email at email@example.com.
— Randy Cox —
Randy Cox was a talented news photographer, picture editor and designer. He also was a champion of documentary photojournalism and an inspirational teacher and mentor. Born in 1953, he grew up in Texas and Kansas but in 1973 enrolled in the Missouri School of Journalism to study photojournalism, graduating in 1975.
In his 38-year career, he worked as a photographer for the Jackson, Miss. Clarion-Ledger and a photo editor at The Coffeyville, Kan. Journal. He joined The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. in the early 1980s as director of photography, then went to The Hartford Courant, where he served as assistant managing editor in charge of photos and graphics. He worked as a design consultant and member of the design team at The Albuquerque Tribune. In 1997, he joined The Oregonian in Portland, where he was senior editor for visuals, directing photography and visual presentation for about 16 years.
While his newspaper industry work and the work of his staffers won nearly every award in photography and design, his most profound contribution may have been as a teacher, coach and mentor. Cox was recognized numerous times by the National Press Photographers Association for service to the profession and for educating and elevating young photographers and editors as they developed their careers.
Cox remained a staunch supporter of the Missouri School of Journalism and its photo program for his entire adult life. He stayed in close touch with Missouri photojournalism faculty throughout his career, mentoring many Mizzou students and alumni over the years. He was a member of the faculty of the Missouri Photojournalism Workshop for more than a dozen years.
He also helped found and served on the faculty of the Kalish Workshop for nearly 20 years and served on the faculty of the Electronic Photojournalism Workshop for nine years. He passed away in January of 2017 after a seven-year battle with kidney cancer.
Growing up in Wichita, Kan., Dennis Crider always had a camera in his hand. He took his first picture during a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. The small black and white shot of Old Faithful blowing its top, “perfectly centered” according to his father, is stored in a journal his mother made of that vacation. The photo was taken at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, 1947… five days before Dennis’ fourth birthday. Growing up, when neighborhood boys built a ramp and pushed their wooden homemade go-carts into the air, he just had to capture the moment.
Crider’s interest led to further studies and employment at a photo processing facility in Wichita, as well as work as school photographer in high school and college. That combination of schooling and training led to a job at the West Plains Daily Quill newspaper where he worked for 39 years before retiring in 2008. He started as a general assignment reporter/photographer, and he finished his career as head photographer and sports editor.
Since retiring, Dennis divides his time between traveling with his cameras to capture memories and traveling with his photographs to share his collections in various exhibits and festivals throughout Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma. He is a three-times finalist in the Best Nature Photography Show, an international competition hosted by the San Diego Natural History Museum. One of his photos was a finalist in Cowboys and Indians magazine’s annual photography contest in 2011.
Some 300 of his photographs are featured in a book he co-authored with the owners of a 143-year-old stagecoach. “The Last Stage to Matador” tells the story of modern-day cowboys re-living the past-by delivering pen-pal letters via a rugged, original stagecoach.
Sally Stapleton is a third-generation visual journalist who spent her childhood in small-town newsrooms at opposite ends of the state. Before her teens, she learned to develop film in the darkroom of the Daily Dunklin Democrat in Kennett, then run by her father, and she remembers watching her grandfather write stories on Linotype machines in the Stanberry Headlight and Albany Ledger newsrooms.
Between earning her undergraduate degree and returning to pursue her master’s from the Missouri School of Journalism, Stapleton spent eight months working for her father in Kennett. In that time, she launched a weekend magazine and spent months photographing life in Hayti Heights, a tiny town that separated itself from a nearby community because its Black residents weren’t being provided basic services.
She has held newsroom leadership roles covering the most far-reaching stories, including the ouster of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, funerals for international figures, the terror attacks of September 11, the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which received the 1995 Feature Photography Pulitzer Prize for an Associated Press staff entry.
She was with AP Photos from 1990 until the end of 2003. In the 1990s, her role was as the senior photo editor for Latin America and Africa. In 1999, the AP won a second Africa-based Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography for its coverage of the simultaneous al-Qaida bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Later, as deputy executive photo editor, she was responsible for all editorial aspects of the U.S. and international photo operation, which included more than 400 staff photographers and editors.
In 2016, Stapleton was named the Pollner Distinguished Professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism and taught multimedia storytelling. She was managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2017 until April 2019. The Post-Gazette staff received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre.
Jill Toyoshiba was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a teen, she enjoyed taking pictures, and that led her to enroll in the yearbook class. She first earned a microbiology degree at San Francisco State University, going to work as a technician in Bay Area research labs.
Switching gears again, Toyoshiba decided to pursue photojournalism at San Jose State University. In her early career, she interned at The Pinnacle in Hollister, California, and the Chicago Tribune before being hired at the Herald News in New Jersey.
Toyoshiba joined The Kansas City Star as a photojournalist in 2002 and during her 20 years there, she covered all manner of stories in Missouri and Kansas as the role expanded to videographer and drone pilot. She is thrilled to have covered two World Series and two Super Bowls. For a photo of Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas’ effort catching a foul ball in a 2014 playoff game, she won multiple regional and national awards.
International experience has been important to Toyoshiba, having lived and worked in London and Bangkok and done much overseas budget traveling as possible. Following the death of Royal’s pitcher Yordano Ventura’s, she traveled to the Dominican Republic to understand his last year of life. She has also surveyed birds in Alaska and Arizona for the U.S. Forest Service.
Her work has included several impactful projects including the documentary, Murder Factory, and coverage of the “right-sizing” plan to shutter 26 Kansas City public schools. She was nominated for a regional Emmy for a video story about a teacher who donated a kidney to her school’s principal and was a member of a team whose investigative series about government secrecy in Kansas was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.