Legendary photographer Alisdair Macdonald dies

Veteran Fleet Street photographer Alisdair Macdonald has died, doing what he loved best — on assignment, taking pictures.

Macdonald, who retired from the Daily Mirror in 2004, was 67. The cause of his death is not yet known.

He responded as usual when he was called by the Evening Standard to a breaking news story on Tuesday evening.

Instead of being at home in the country with his family, he preferred to be in London during the week waiting for such a call, and even though it was blowing a freezing gale, he was immediately on the scene, taking what would have been more great images.

'Mac' was the professional's professional — a legend among hard-nosed "snappers" who work the Fleet Street beat. No matter how early you arrived at a job, Mac was there first, and he would always be the last to leave.

It was particularly poignant that yesterday was budget day — an event that Mac had been an institution at for decades. Police moved the barriers to let the assembled ranks of fellow photographers stand on the steps of Number 10, cameras at their feet, to observe a minute's silence in his honour.

Many a photographer is indebted to him. If they were running late, Mac would hold a spot or put up a ladder for them in Downing Street.

The swinging sixties saw Mac alongside the Beatles and the Rolling Stones for the Daily Mirror, and his dedication showed at many Farnborough air shows as he was always seemed to be in the right place at the right time to record incidents and accidents missed by others.

It was in his retirement that Macdonald showed his great strength. It was his endless enthusiasm and energy that left people who met him spellbound.

A full obituary will appear in next week's Press Gazette.

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