Sports Illustrated's V.J. Lovero, 44, loses long battle with cancer

Victor James "V.J." Lovero, 44, staff photographer for Sports Illustrated, and team photographer for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Anaheim Angels, died January 12 in Newport Beach, CA, after a four-year battle with cancer. At his side were family and friends. He is survived by his wife Trish, and sons John, 16, and Jay, 13.

V.J. Lovero before Game 2 of the 2002 American League Division Championship series between the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland A's in Oakland.

Photo by Brad Mangin - Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated says Lovero had 39 of the magazine's covers during his career. He was the Ducks official team photographer since the team's inception in 1993. Lovero was also an active member of the Web site.

Many of Lovero's fellow sports photojournalists were with him during his final days in hospital in Newport Beach, and they travelled from assignments around the country to be with him when they got word that his condition had worsened. Tributes to Lovero, in stories and fond memories, have been pouring in to the Web site that he was a member of since January, 2003.

Memorial contributions were requested by the family in lieu of flowers. Donations in Lovero's name can be made to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, 9272 Jeronimo Rd., Suite 107A, Irvine, CA, 92618. Their web site is at