Australian travel veteran William “Bill” McNamara has passed away at the age of 78.
McNamara was found dead by NSW Police, alone in his Sydney eastern suburbs home, on Tuesday after celebrating his 78th birthday last weekend.
Born into abject poverty in Melbourne, incarcerated with polio aged six in Melbourne’s Fairfield Infectious Diseases facility, and orphaned at 13, McNamara’s rapid ascent to success started when he was taken under the wing of multi-national logistics entrepreneur Lindsay Fox.
McNamara’s teenage Duke of Edinburgh Award remained his pride and joy, before starting his first job as a sales representative with Stewart Moffatt Travel in Melbourne.
In 1972, McNamara was given his first big chance at Pan Am by the late Paul Glaser, before becoming the regional manager for British Caledonian Airways in 1979.
McNamara joined Hilton in 1987 as its director of sales and marketing across the Asia Pacific – a role he held for more than three-and-a-half years – and established his own travel representation company in 2000.