Photojournalist Wallace “Wally” McNamee, whose career at The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine spanned more than 40 years, died November 17 in Virginia, the White House News Photographers Association (WHNPA) has reported. McNamee was 85. The cause of his death was not given.
In addition to covering major news events including the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War, McNamee covered presidential administrations from Dwight Eisenhower to Bill Clinton. He was named Photographer of the Year four times by the White House News Photographers Association, which also awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
McNamee began his journalism career in 1950 as a copy boy at The Washington Post. During the Korean War, he joined the Marines and trained as a combat photographer. After serving in Japan and Korea, he returned to The Washington Post in 1955, working again as a copy boy before joining the photo staff in 1956.
In 1968, he left the Post to join Newsweek magazine, for which he covered Washington politics, as well as the Olympic Games from 1976 through 1996. McNamee photographed celebrities including Willie Nelson, Elizabeth Taylor and Mick Jagger, according to the WHNPA. He was also part of a Newsweek team that won a National Magazine Award for a story about Vietnam veterans a decade after the war, called “Charlie Company: What Vietnam Did to Us.”
In addition to his various awards from WHNPA, McNamee won the National Press Photographers Association’s Joseph Sprague Memorial Award in 2005. His archive of more than 300,000 images is at the University of Texas.
McNamee’s survivors include his son, Win McNamee, who is the chief photographer for news at Getty Images.
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