NASCAR & Auto Racing

Photographer-craftsman Thomas Taylor Warren dies at 83

Two eyes who helped shape and record the history of racing in America are now closed.

Thomas Taylor Warren, a photographer who captured thousands of enduring images during his brilliant career, passed away Wednesday night. The man known throughout the NASCAR garage as T. Taylor was 83 and resided in Florence, S.C. He was born July 4, 1925, in Wyoming, Del.

Warren’s most famous image was taken at the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. Earlier this year, Warren shot photos at the 50th running of that race. He never missed one in between.

He worked in Milwaukee and Kansas City before getting a job with a Kodak lab in High Point. There, he made friends in the stock-car world and was hired part time to shoot photos at a race on the old Daytona beach and road course in 1952.

Warren, who almost always had on a fisherman’s-style hat with a Goody’s logo and a khaki photo vest, was in 2006 given the Henry T. McLemore Award for achievement in journalism from the International Racing Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala. He was the first photojournalist to receive that honor.

Much of Warren's work was donated to the library at UNC Charlotte and is publicly available.

A memorial service will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 126 Pearl St. in Darlington, S.C. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Motorsports Press Association, P.O. Box 500, Darlington, S.C., 29540.

Kistler Funeral Home will be directing the service.

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