In Memory

Steve Harper

Steve Harper

   Steve Harper, 55, photo editor and outdoor writer at The Wichita Eagle, died Sunday (Feb 6, 2000) at his home in Newton.

   He was born Aug. 26, 1944 in Newton.  He married Charlotte Settles Dec 21, 1978, in Newton.  She survives.

   He was an avid outdoorsman and conservationist.  He enjoyed his native state of Kansas and promoted it vigorously.

   He was a 1962 graduate of Newton High School.  He also graduated from Brooks Institute of Fine Art and Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif.  He was an instructor in photojournalism at Wichita State University.

   Other survivors include:  his mother, Merriam Mears Stapleton;  three daughters, Alicia Fulmer, Audrey Harper and Rachel Harper, all of Newton; and two grandchildren.  He was proceded in death by his stepfather, Paul Stapleton.


One of the best-known Kansans of recent times, Steve Harper left his mark on Kansas with photographs and words.  During his 25-year career, he was a photojournalism instructor at Wichita State University, The Wichita Eagle’s photography editor and eventually the newspaper’s outdoor writer and photographer.

Steve’s trademark works were photographs and articles working together on the natural beauty of Kansas.  His series in the Eagle on Kansas day trips led to the publication of his popular book, “83,000 square Miles, No Lines, No Waiting,” His outdoor page was several times voted the best of its kind in the nation. 

Sadly, Steve died of cancer on February 6, 2000, at the age of 55 in the same Newton house where he’d grown up and raised three daughters. 

This scholarship was started at the suggestion of Governor Bill Graves, among others, as a way to honor Harper’s dedication to Kansans and serving the Kansas outdoors. 

As Steve would have wished, it’s presented to Kansas youth pursuing natural resources or photography careers at Kansas colleges, with Kansas-based career goals. 

An excellent judge of character, Steve put as much stock in a person’s initiative and accomplishments as well as academic awards.  The scholarship committee will give equal consideration to all three qualifications.