The Braves family lost one of its most beloved and esteemed members Tuesday with the death of longtime former team photographer Walter Victor, a decorated World War II veteran who fought in the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied Normandy on June 6, 1944. He was 97.
Victor became the Braves’ official photographer when the team moved to Atlanta in 1966, and still held the position 35 years later when the Braves named the camera well at Turner Field in his honor and adorned it with a plaque.
It was hardly the first honor awarded the Pennsylvania native and Dawsonville resident, who was a member of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division and served nearly three years in combat. His numerous military honors included a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Walter’s passing,” Braves said in a prepared statement. “He was a part of our organization and Braves Country for 40 years and he will be sadly missed. He was a proud veteran who served his country with great honor. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife Ruth and his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
The amiable Victor, a fixture at the ballpark for decades, took thousands of photos of Braves players, from Hank Aaron to Chipper Jones. He called Dale Murphy and Phil Niekro his favorites.
Victor had more than a dozen photographs displayed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Many of his baseball photos and some from his military service in Europe were featured in a book, Brave at Heart: The Life and Lens of Walter Victor, published in 2007.
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