George S. Naum
After graduating from Manchester West High School in 1945, he was drafted into the US Army in 1946. That, George Naum says, was when and how he became a photographer. He first was sent to photo school at Camp Polk, Louisiana and later to the Army’s Signal Photo Center located in an old building that once was a Paramount Films studio in Astoria, NY. He served two hitches: first from 1946 through 1949, then again from 1950 to 1951.
For the next 3 years he covered a variety of assignments which included winter maneuvers of the 2nd Infantry Division in Alaska during the winter of 1947-48. He was given this job because they figured being from NH that he could handle the weather which at times reached 50 below zero.
At the end of his first hitch, he studied at a New Haven, Ct. photo school. His second hitch shouldn’t have really happened. When he was discharged the first time, he volunteered to go on the Inactive Reserve List. But in December, 1950, the US Army illegally activated the Inactive Reserves.
So off he went to Korea and by a lucky break, he was sent to his old photo company. In August of 1951 George was sent home. Before that happened though, peace talks began in Kaesong, North Korea and he was chosen to provide the pool photos which were given to wire services and sent around the world. He was the only US Army photographer on site, right in the midst of the History Makers.
When he arrived back home, he landed a job in September of 1951 at the Manchester Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He stayed for 45 years, shooting general news as well as sports. His face and work became well known throughout the state and he was much admired by his peers, as well as by the readers of both papers.
Hockey became the one sport George never tried to avoid an assignment for and he became one of the most familiar faces inside the John F. Kennedy Coliseum. He was there when the hometown team was called the Alpine Club, later to be known as the Blackhawks and finally the Monarchs. Player names such as Hebert, Champagne, Bibeau and St. Laurent were all found in the captions beneath so many Naum photos of that era.
Willie Bibeau perhaps said it best recently: “George was like our team photographer even though he worked for the Union Leader. Every one of the players on our team loved him. He took great pictures but it was his love for hockey that made us love him so much. So many of his pictures captured what we were all about. He was a four-star photographer.”
George, from among his many golden memories, well remembers the night Manchester met feisty rival Concord at JFK Coliseum. During a heated debate with officials, the Concord coach pulled his team off the ice and herded everyone into the dressing room. “As they skated off on the Beech Street side, I took the shot. When the night sports editor saw my print he got excited. ‘Eight columns,’ he yelled, and that’s how he played it, right across the top of the page. Even our publisher William Loeb liked it.”
Through the years, George certainly created magic with his camera.
George Naum Class of 2008.
Please welcome George Naum.