Amherst Magazine
Douglas Webster McKinley '39

 

Douglas (Webb) McKinley died at his home on Jekyll Island, GA, on February 26, 2008, after complications from a stroke.  He is survived by his wife, Peggy; four daughters, Judy of Montpelier, VT, Martha Kissick and Jane McKinley of Falls Church, VA, and Mary McKinley of Ogden, UT; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.  Webb’s first wife died in February 1999. 

Webb started his journalistic career at Amherst where he worked on the Student for four straight years, becoming the editor in chief his senior year.  He also, for four years, sang in the glee club and choir.  In 1948, Webb started a thirty-five year career with the Associated Press, broken only by a stint in the US Army, where he participated in the Normandy invasion as a major.  After the war, he resumed his writing as a reporter in the Middle East.  He was in the Rome Bureau in 1953 and then on to Istanbul in 1957.  Some of the highlights of his career were interviews with King Hussein of Jordan, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and Anwar Sadat of Egypt.  He also had interviews with Sophia Loren, Katharine Hepburn and a two-time winner of the Tour de France named Fausti Coppi.

He returned stateside in 1965 to become world news editor for AP.  In retirement, he took on several consulting assignments: Zimbabwe twice, then Malaysia, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Webb was known for his physical stamina and coolness in a crisis.  Richard Pyle, an AP colleague, characterized him as “a highly professional-type guy who never got overly excited, even when the news was breaking fast.  He knew his way around the Middle East.”  Webb was a loyal Amherst graduate and served the Class of ’39 as secretary and Class agent. 

—Henry W. Seeley, Jr. ’39

 

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