Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Bob Cousy

Bob Cousy, 1990

Bob Cousy, born in 1928, is a beloved American former professional basketball player who was a point guard with the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1963, and became a broadcaster for the team. Among his many achievements, in 2021 Cousy was honored as one of the NBA’s greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

Cousy was well-known both on and off the court for his public stance against racism. In 1950, the Celtics played a game in the then-segregated city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and teammate Chuck Cooper, the first African-American in NBA history to be drafted, would have been denied a hotel room. Instead of taking the hotel room, Cousy insisted on traveling with Cooper on an uncomfortable overnight train. He described their visit to a segregated men’s toilet – Cooper was prohibited from using the clean “for whites” bathroom and had to use the shabby “for colored” facility – as one of the most shameful experiences of his life.

This portrait from 1990 has been freshly scanned and so we continue to add to the digital archive.