William MacKaye, a Washington Submit editor, dies at 89

William R. MacKaye, a journalist who spent 20 years at The Washington Submit, initially as a reporter and editor of non secular affairs after which as an editor on the paper’s now-defunct journal, died Aug. 21 at a hospital in New Haven, Conn. He was 89.

The trigger was issues from a fall, mentioned his son Alec MacKaye, a hardcore punk singer and songwriter.

Early in his profession, Mr. MacKaye (rhymes with sky) was a Washington correspondent submitting tales for each the Houston Chronicle and the Fort Price Star-Telegram, and he coated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 from Dallas.

The subsequent yr, Mr. MacKaye was touring with President Lyndon B. Johnson to a Miami resort for a marketing campaign cease when hundreds of supporters grew so aggressively enthusiastic that policemen intervened to forestall the president from being injured. Mr. MacKaye mentioned that about eight policemen grabbed him roughly and carried him from the resort foyer to the road. He defined who he was and flashed his press credentials, solely to be instructed they have been the “flawed type.”

A former Episcopal seminarian, he left the politics beat in 1966 to affix the faith desk at The Submit as a strategy to mix his non secular and journalistic pursuits, and colleagues admiringly referred to him as “Father MacKaye.” Following a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford College in 1975, he discovered himself with a brand new boss and ultimately shifted to The Submit’s journal as an affiliate editor.

The journal’s editor on the time, Laura Longley, mentioned she immediately handed to Mr. MacKaye tales that got here in hundreds of phrases over the assigned restrict, as a result of he was such a reliable colleague and top-notch wordsmith. “He might finesse it to the purpose the place even the creator might settle for it,” she mentioned. “I might depend on him to scrub up something and make it learn higher.”

Mr. MacKaye was a contract author in subsequent years and have become chief govt of In Belief, a corporation that teaches ideas of fine governance to the boards and directors of North American theological colleges.

William Ross MacKaye was born in Manhattan on June 1, 1934, and grew up principally in Washington. His father, Milton, was {a magazine} author and guide ghostwriter, and his mom, who wrote beneath the identify Dorothy Cameron Disney, was a thriller novelist and marital recommendation columnist for Women’ Residence Journal.

He graduated in 1951 from the personal Sidwell Associates College and in 1955 from Harvard College, after which spent a yr doing postgraduate work on the Normal Theological Seminary in Manhattan earlier than getting into journalism as a reporter on the Minneapolis Star.

He was a boss of the now-defunct Washington Free Clinic and a member of St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church within the District. He was a resident of Washington however died whereas staying at a longtime summer season residence in Guilford, Conn.

He was married to the previous Mary Anne “Ginger” Garner from 1956 till her dying in 2004. Along with his son Alec, of Washington, survivors embody 4 different kids, Katharine MacKaye and Ian MacKaye of Washington, Susannah MacKaye of Oakland, Calif., and Amanda MacKaye of Arlington, Va.; and three grandchildren.

Three of his kids — Alec, Ian and Amanda — had careers in punk rock. “We have been at all times instructed to get pleasure from ourselves whereas we do what we do,” Alec MacKaye mentioned. “He was very supportive of everybody’s inventive endeavors. That was extra necessary to him than profession ambitions.”

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