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John Starks

Staff Photographer
  • Phone(847) 769-4930
  • Google+John Starks

John Starks has been a staff photographer with the Daily Herald since 1997. He worked for eight years in the Arlington Heights Office Center and currently calls the Elgin bureau his home base, although most shifts are spent working from his car.

Prior to the Daily Herald, he worked as a staff photographer for the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, The Lorain Morning Journal near Cleveland, and The Monroe Evening News in Michigan. The Evening News was one of the nation's last evening-delivered daily newspapers. He also worked as a staff writer for the Sturgis Journal in Michigan, covering police, county government, and features.

He started his career in the late 1980s shooting black-and-white film that was hand rolled, and hand processed. Prints were made in chemical trays in a darkroom. He was among the first newspaper photojournalists in the Chicago area to fully change all aspects of his daily work to digital.

He has covered three national political conventions and photographed every U.S. President since Richard Nixon, when, as fourth-grader on a family vacation, he pushed the button of his box camera as the disgraced president left the White House for the last time.

He considers coverage of the 1995 Major League Baseball World Series a highlight of his career. He also photographed Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls as they won the NBA Championship in 1998. He also covered each of the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, White Sox and Cubs playoff appearances in the last decade. John was the on-site photo editor for the Daily Herald coverage team in 2003 when the famous Steve Bartman incident happened at Wrigley Field. He also traveled twice to New Orleans to cover the Hurricane Katrina devastation in 2005.

He has won more than 120 national, regional and state awards for news, features, sports, portraits, pictorials, sports portfolio, and nature photographs, as well as videography.

John graduated with a journalism degree from Central Michigan University. He is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Illinois Press Photographers Association.

He and his wife have two kids and own a children's book publishing company.

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items 1-10 out of 32

St. Charles East students walk to help 2-year-old girl’s cause

Apr 13 2014 | 4:37 pm - Six months ago, Caitlin Cox couldn’t even bend her knees. Swelling and pain had stiffened the two-year-old’s joints so badly she had to be carried around the house. On Sunday, the St. Charles girl couldn’t be stopped.

Morning rain can’t deter Lake in the Hills runners

Apr 13 2014 | 6:24 pm - The spring rain Sunday morning couldn’t stop the roughly 500 runners in the 15th Run Thru The Hills road races in Lake in the Hills. After months of freezing temperatures, snow and ice, the early spring rain made the rolling pavement glisten...

Moving Picture: Elgin library artist builds cityscape

Apr 11 2014 | 2:03 pm - Mary Amici-Kozi doesn't get the spotlight much, but her work sure does. The graphic artist at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin creates displays both large and small that complement the themes or events happening in the library. “We are...

Antique phonograph stands out at St. Charles show

Apr 06 2014 | 6:22 pm - It took 10 years for Paul Baker to restore his 107-year-old Multiphone coin-operated phonograph. It was the showstopper Sunday at the Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot-Machine & Jukebox Show at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Rare duck, social media draws bird-watchers to Fox River in West Dundee

Mar 21 2014 | 10:46 am - A rare Barrow's Goldeneye duck appeared on the Fox River in West Dundee Thursday afternoon, and soon, several bird watchers appeared there too, all drawn to the site through social media. “We drove more than 30 miles just to see him,”...

Cold can’t sap life out of Maple Sugaring Days

Mar 16 2014 | 3:59 pm - Valerie Blaine stood Sunday at the base of a large maple tree at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles and tried to explain to the young crowd gathered around her how to collect sap to make sweet maple syrup. It wasn’t easy. The...

Antiques dealers, collectors flock to Kane County show

Mar 09 2014 | 10:34 pm - Rare antiques dealers from 15 states converged Sunday in St. Charles at the 57th Fox Valley Antiques Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds. The antiques came from around the world, but at least one piece was back near where is was first manufactured...

Women ski jumpers thrilled at Olympic opportunities

Jan 26 2014 | 6:11 pm - More than 60 skiers took part Sunday in the 109th annual Norge International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove, but it was the nine women competitors who had extra motivation this year. For the first time, women ski jumpers will be competing...

George Rowe of Elgin is excited to share his hometown’s history

Jan 10 2014 | 2:21 pm - George Rowe has a passion for history, particularly that of the city of Elgin where he lives. Working in Old Main, a historic building on the campus of Elgin Academy that houses the Elgin History Museum, Rowe is in charge of keeping Elgin's history...

Kane County bird-watchers kick off new year with eyes to the skies

Jan 01 2014 | 12:32 pm - The new year started with hushed anticipation for a group of six bird enthusiasts, who stood in a small circle in the accumulating snow and pronounced their first sighting of 2014, as part of Kane County Audubon Society's annual New Year's Day bird...

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