DENVER — Ed Andrieski, a retired Associated Press photographer who covered nearly every major news story in Colorado for more than three decades, has died. He was 73.
Andrieski was found dead in his Denver apartment on Tuesday, said his brother, Bill Andrieski. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Andrieski started work at the AP’s Denver bureau in 1979 and was based there until he retired in 2014. He traveled widely on assignments, photographing natural disasters and plane crashes, politics, the Super Bowl and the World Series.
He also covered human tragedies, including the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School and the 2012 theater shootings in suburban Aurora, both in Colorado.
“Ed was a consummate professional. He had a great touch with colleagues in and out of the AP and worked hard to get the best possible shots on the wire,” said Jim Clarke, the AP’s Central Regional director and Andrieski’s former bureau chief.
“He also could cook like nobody’s business — his chocolate chip cookies were the stuff of legend,” Clarke said.
Among journalists, Andrieski’s reputation as a cook almost rivaled his renown as a photographer. Sometimes he prepared enormous spreads for teams of reporters and photographers covering professional skiing in the Colorado mountains, and sometimes it was a plate of cookies for staffers working over the holidays.
Andrieski was born June 30, 1944, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of South Carolina and worked for The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, from 1968 until 1975. He then ran his own photography business until joining the AP.
He could be hard-nosed in pursuit of a photo. In 1981, United Press International, AP’s competitor, obtained family photos of Coloradan John Hinckley Jr., who had shot then-President Ronald Reagan.
Andrieski went to the Denver FBI office and demanded, “I want the photographs furnished to UPI by the Secret Service,” FBI agent Gary Lisotto said later.
Lisotto said that was the first he’d heard of the photos.
It’s not clear whether Andrieski got them. But a judge quashed subpoenas from the Justice Department attempting to force testimony from Andrieski and others on what they knew about the leak.
Andrieski was known for nurturing other photographers, whether they worked for AP, its member news organizations or competitors.
J. David Ake, AP’s deputy chief of bureau for visual journalism in Washington, said Andrieski was a source of encouragement when Ake worked for a suburban Denver newspaper. Later, they went head-to-head when Ake worked for UPI in Denver.
“Sometimes I won, and sometimes not so much. But even as a competitor he was a gracious man ‘after’ the job was done,” Ake recalled.