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Former Kansas City Mayor Dick Berkley's Life Through The Camera Lens

In his 12-year tenure as Kansas City mayor, Dick Berkley met hundreds of celebrities, sports stars, and political figures. Fortunately, he never went anywhere without his camera.

“I’m so lucky. I just can’t emphasize how fortunate I’ve been to have the ability travel and meet these people, and take a little opportunity when it was in front of me to take somebody’s picture,” Berkley told Steve Kraske on Up To Date.

He estimates that in the 22 years he spent in city hall as both as mayor and councilman, he took more than 150,000 pictures. A collection of his favorite photographs will be on display at the Kansas City Public Library through March 8.

The exhibit will feature photographs of Berkley throughout his career, as well as photos he has taken himself as an amateur photographer.

The former mayor, who was beloved by many, says he has only been turned down by four people when he asked to take their photograph.

Al Davis, former owner and manager of the Oakland Raiders, was one of the few who gave Berkley the snub.

“He was so nasty. He had such a terrible reputation in all his dealings that I went ahead and took [the picture] anyway,” Berkley said.

The picture, however, will not be included in the exhibit.

“I didn’t want to give him that much coverage,” he said.

Berkley began taking photographs when he was in the Navy. At the time, someone told him he should mail the photographs out to people, a habit he maintained throughout his public career. Up To Date host Steve Kraske has even been the recipient of a few of Berkley's pictures. When Kraske told Berkley he was the proud owner of a few Berkley photographs, the former mayor joked, “They’re very valuable. Hold on to them."

Former Kansas City Mayor Berkley's photographs will be on display through March 8 at the Genevieve Guldner Gallery at the Kansas City Public Library's Central Library, 14 West 10th Street, Kansas City, Mo. 816-701-3400. 

Lisa Rodriguez is the news director for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.