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Lifetime Bios

Carlos Schiebeck (2011)

Khai Le

Carlos at 16

Carlos at 16

Carlos Schiebeck was born in Los Angeles and began working in the photo business right after graduating from Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles in 1947. After graduating, he went back to school on a post-graduate program in photography under H.Lee Hansen, his photo teacher who arranged an interview for him one year later at Acme Newspictures, the forerunner of UP Photos and UPI Photos.

He started with Acme Newspictures in October 1948 as a telephoto operator along with Garry Watson, Ernie Schworck and Bob Flora and was promoted to photographer in 1952 and worked as a photographer until 1968, when he was promoted to UPI bureau manager while covering the Olympics in Mexico City. He continued as a UP/UPI photographer until 1984 when he joined Agency France-Presse photos. 

"Although I didn't have any ambitions to be a bureau manager when I was hired, during the interview in 1948, Frank Chapman, bureau manager for Acme told me it would be at least 13 years before I could become a photographer, I answered him ,"Mr. Chapman, I'll have your job in seven years." It took me 16 years, but I did it", Schiebeck said. 

"Photographers that started in the late 1940s were very lucky because a new era was starting in the wire service business. They were expanding with new clients and TV was coming into the picture. We were quickly put into receiving pictures in negative form, editing and printing for clients, and going out on stories with photogs to process and print their pictures on assignments out of the city", he added. 

One of his first out-of-town jobs was a United Nations meeting in San Francisco. It was the start of a career living out of a suitcase covering 17 countries, with assignments ranging from A-bombs to zoos. Over the years, Carlos has covered Oscar Awards, 10 U.S. presidents, 3 Olympics, 10 A bomb tests in Nevada from the "News Nob," six miles from ground zero. He became very proficient in boxing photography, covering title fights in both the U.S. and Mexico, including numerous World Series and Super Bowls and so many Rose Bowls he lost count.

During his coverage of international uprisings in Latin America. He got to know many dictators on a personal basis, including Fidel Castro who called Carlos, 'Don Carlos'. King Juan Carlos of Spain once gave him a beer in Guatemala during his tour of Central America and introduced me to Queen Sophia as "my wife, Sophie." Carlos left UPI in 1984 on a job offer from Agency France Presse (AFP) to run their west coast operations until 1995 when he retired. He has been married to his wife Arsenia for 61 years and have seven children. 


"I like to think I helped a lot of young guys get started in the business during my years as bureau manager both for UPI and AFP. All told, it was a great 46 year career which I would do all over again in the blink of an eye", Schiebeck added.