Hank Walker with his camera. (Photo by Wallace Kirkland/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Hank Walker with his camera. (Photo by Wallace Kirkland/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Politicians were just another kind of celebrity to Hank Walker (1922-1996): “If you can appeal to that ego, they usually let you do the story.” During the Mccarthy hearings, when the witch-hunting senator continually flourished papers he claimed held the names of 41 State Department communists,  Walker tried to expose the documents with a long lens. “I took a couple of pictures and McCarthy stopped dead.” The hearing came to a halt as the committee chairman demanded Walker’s film, but he had switched the rolls. (Later he would find the real pictures of the list unintelligible.) The episode may not have stopped the McCarthy rampage, but it showed the live television audience an ugly glimpse of the man. “I’ll never forget that,” Walter Cronkite said.

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

US Marines crouched in landing boat, looking at the bombardment of the beach where they are about to land. (Photo by Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

US Marines crouched in landing boat, looking at the bombardment of the beach where they are about to land.(Photo by Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower crying after his speech at the 82nd Airborne luncheon. (Photo by Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower crying after his speech at the 82nd Airborne luncheon. (Photo by Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

More Like This

Boy looking at a cow in London. (Photo by Ian Smith/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Ian Smith

Representatives of 14 NATO nations (including US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (fore, far R) signing a pact admitting Germany as 15th member in a ceremony at Palais de Chaillot. (Photo by Frank Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Frank Scherschel

Prisoners at San Quentin weightlifting in prison yard during recreation period. (Photo by Charles Steinheimer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Charles Steinheimer

Writer Niven Busch lying on sofa with newspaper over his face as he takes nap from screenwriting. (Photo by Paul Dorsey/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Paul Dorsey

A rhesus monkey sitting in water up to his chest. (Photo by Hansel Meith/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Hansel Mieth

Street scene during business hours. (Photo by Peter Stackpole/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Peter Stackpole