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

An unidentified woman looks at the tag on one of many paintings in a storage room in the home of financier and art collector Chester Dale, New York, New York, 1938. (Photo by Rex Hardy/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Rex Hardy

American movie producer, artist, and animator Walt Disney and fellow artist and animator Mary Blair sit on a balcony and draw on sketch pads while in South America. (Photo by Hart Preston/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Hart Preston

A view of Adolf Hitler's burning mountain house, "The Eagle's Nest." (Photo by David E. Scherman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

David E. Scherman

Steve McQueen aims a pistol in his living room. (Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Loomis Dean

Light pattern produced by a time exposure of the light tipped rotor blades of a grounded helicopter. (Photo by Andreas Feininger/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Andreas Feininger

Boy Scouts racing down a dune at the Indiana Dunes. (Photo by Michael Rougier/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Michael Rougier