John Anthony Neary Jr., ex-LIFE Magazine reporter who later took up metalsmithing, dies at 74

TESUQUE, N.M. — A family member says John Anthony Neary Jr., a journalist who worked as a LIFE magazine reporter and editor and later took up metalsmithing, has died.

Ben Neary, an Associated Press reporter in Wyoming, said his father died Friday at the family home in Tesuque of complications from cancer. He was 74.

A native of suburban Baltimore, John Anthony Neary Jr., began his career at the Washington Star and joined LIFE magazine in 1961. He was known for writing the 1969 LIFE cover story, "The Magical McCartney Mystery," about the hoax that Beatle Paul McCartney had died.

Neary and his wife, Joan, moved to Tesuque in 1973.

His remains are scheduled to be donated to the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

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