UNITED STATES NEWS

Patrick Hamilton, ex-AP and Reuters photographer who covered Central American wars, dies at 74

Aug 16, 2023, 4:21 PM | Updated: 6:04 pm

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) — Patrick Hamilton, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War who covered civil wars in Central America as a photojournalist for The Associated Press and later worked at Reuters covering the first Gulf War in Iraq, has died after a long struggle with cancer.

He died at age 74 Sunday at home in San Antonio.

Hamilton’s experience in Vietnam served him well in Central America during the 1980s and then with Reuters, for which he covered Operation Desert Storm in 1990.

Colleagues remembered him as a gentle professional who was cool under pressure and as someone they wanted at their side in conflict zones like El Salvador and Nicaragua.

“When I drove around in a war zone in northern Nicaragua with a guy like Hamilton sitting shotgun, I had a sense of security that I did not enjoy if riding around with some everyday John Doe,” photojournalist and author Bill Gentile wrote in his memoir, “Wait for Me.”

“Pat had seen war as a Marine combatant in Vietnam and those experiences in some ways prepared him to return to war; but this time with a different weapon, a camera, and a different mission — to show the world both the horrors of war itself and the quiet dignity of so many whose lives were upended or ruined,” said Santiago Lyon, former AP vice president and director of photography.

Before joining AP in Mexico City in 1979, Hamilton was a photographer at the San Antonio Express-News. One of his most famous photos was of President Gerald Ford in front of the Alamo biting into a tamale with the shuck still on. Analysts said the blunder caused Ford to lose Texas — and possibly the presidency, with the state’s electoral votes going to Jimmy Carter.

Hamilton was with AP until 1985 and joined Reuters later that year. He left Reuters in 1991 and was hired as photo editor at a Texas newspaper, the McAllen Monitor, where he mentored younger photographers.

“I learned so much from Patrick. As a young photojournalist I was intrigued by his stint with the AP Mexico City and his coverage of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua and the other tumult in Central America,” McAllen Monitor photographer Delcia Lopez said in a Facebook post.

Lopez said Hamilton also taught by showing pictures he had gathered from various photographers.

“I remember Patrick showing me a collection of his amazing black and white photos. There was one photo that stuck with me, the photo of Cuban president Fidel Castro having a drink with author Ernest Hemingway,” Lopez said.

An avid reader, in later years Hamilton taught English literature at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, where he finished his bachelor’s degree and obtained a master’s degree in English.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, the former Sylvia Browne, whom he met in Managua, Nicaragua, while she was standing in line at the U.S. Embassy to help a friend get a visa.

“There was a long line for visas and all the photographers and reporters came. I saw something I liked and smiled, and he approached me,” she recounted.

He is also survived by the couple’s three children, Patrick R. Hamilton, Michael M. Hamilton and Alina M. Hamilton, and three granddaughters.

United States News

Associated Press

Police in suburban Chicago are sued over a fatal shooting of a man in his home

CHICAGO (AP) — The sisters of a man fatally shot in his home this month by suburban Chicago police filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the officers and their department, alleging wrongful death and other counts. Kyenna McConico and Kennetha Barnes, sisters of Isaac Goodlow III, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago […]

43 minutes ago

Workers drive among shipping containers and trailers at a BNSF intermodal terminal, Jan. 3, 2024, i...

Associated Press

US economy grew solid 3.2% in fourth quarter, a slight downgrade from government’s initial estimate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a robust 3.2% annual pace from October through December, propelled by healthy consumer spending, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday in a slight downgrade from its initial estimate. The expansion in the nation’s gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — slipped from […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Activists mark the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Wom...

Associated Press

About as many abortions are happening in the US monthly as before Roe was overturned, report finds

The number of abortions performed each month is about the same as before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the nationwide right to abortion more than a year and a half ago, a new report finds. The latest edition of the #WeCount report conducted for the Society of Family Planning, a nonprofit […]

1 hour ago

This undated photo shows oral historian Francine D. Spang-Willis, who is leading a project to creat...

Associated Press

Laurene Powell Jobs’ philanthropy seeks to strengthen communities with grants for local leaders

Francine Spang-Willis wishes the landscape of the Crazy Mountains near Livingston, Montana, could speak for itself. But absent that, the oral historian will launch a new project talking to people with a connection to the land. Spang-Willis is one of a dozen new fellows announced Wednesday by the Emerson Collective, Laurene Powell Jobs’ philanthropy. In […]

2 hours ago

American and District of Columbia flags fly outside of the Madison Hotel on Feb. 26, 2024, in Washi...

Associated Press

AP Decision Notes: What to expect in the District of Columbia’s GOP presidential primary

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in the nation’s capital will gather in a hotel this weekend and cast their ballots for the GOP presidential candidate they would like to see occupy the White House. The contest may be the best chance for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to score a victory in a presidential nomination contest. […]

2 hours ago

FILE - The Idaho state flag hangs in the State Capitol in Boise, Idaho, Jan. 9, 2023. Idaho Republi...

Associated Press

AP Decision Notes: What to expect in Idaho’s GOP caucuses

WASHINGTON (AP) — When life cancels your primary, have a caucus. That’s what Idaho Republicans will do this Saturday when they gather in meetings across the state to help pick their party’s presidential nominee. State legislators originally hoped to save money by consolidating the March 12 presidential primary with their May 21 primary for state […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Patrick Hamilton, ex-AP and Reuters photographer who covered Central American wars, dies at 74