Remembering Wally McNamee

Wally McNamee, the longtime photojournalist at the Washington Post and Newsweek Magazine died recently. He was 84 years old.  I remember my first encounter with Wally quite well.  It was the spring of 1967. The cherry blossoms were in all their glory in Washingon and I was trying to compose a shot of them with the Jefferson Memorial in the near background.  Wally had seen me searching for a decent vantage point.  He came up to me, and wearing a broad smile,  introduced himself.   I quickly volunteered that I was a student at American University and was doing some field shooting for the photography course I was taking.  “Well,” he said, “this scene with the cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial is a classic this time of the year.  You’ll do well with it. ”   He then suggested a vantage point on the path along the Tidal Basin about  50 yards closer to the Memorial.  He offered a few tips for camera settings, shook my hand and said, “See you around John.”   I ran into him several more times during my time in the District: at the DC riots after Doctor King was assassinated in Memphis, the Washington anti-Vietnam War March and several other occasions.  He always had a friendly word.  Wally McNamee was a good person in a tough town.  I invite you to read Dee Swann’s remembrance of Wally on the Washington Post’s Photography Blog, “Insight.”  Here’s the link:


Thanks for the visit.  See you next time.

One thought on “Remembering Wally McNamee

  1. Such an interesting article and man. Thank you for posting. It was interesting to see some of his images. I recognized some of them from years gone by. He certainly made a difference with his talent and soul. May he rest in peace.

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