Mr. McNamara, who has published two books on sports at the University of Maryland, was a longtime sports reporter and editor, according to his LinkedIn page and the people who worked with him. Of late, McNamara reported daily news in Bowie, Maryland, a city west of Annapolis, and was editor of two local weekly Gazette newspapers.
Sheila Padgett, resident of Bowie, and a friend of Mr. McNamara said he had single-handedly informed the city's residents about the news and policies of the community.
"He was the only game in town," said Padgett.
"He had that kind of mentality of old school journalists," Mr. Burns said of Mr. McNamara.
"Sure," John might be rigid, "added Aaron Gray, 38, who had been the high school sports editor," but you know, if it's a Friday night at 11:35, he's got his job definitely done. I would like to believe that he made the young writers around him better by editing him.
David Elfin, a sportswriter who worked on a book with Mr. McNamara, said he made himself felt outside of the newsroom.
"He would ask a quiet question more than being outside," Mr. Elfin said, "But believe me, all the coaches of the crews he covered knew John was there."
G., Frederick Robinson, the mayor of Bowie, said he was with Mr twice a week. McNamara spoke.
"He knew the right questions," Robinson said.