Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, John was a remarkable man with a simple philosophy - work hard, play hard, love and be loved, but most of all, care about others. In 1999, John proudly joined the ranks of New York’s Bravest by becoming a New York City Firefighter. He took on this role with a solid sense of honor and duty, and his love for the job and his fellow brothers became the essence of who he was.
FDNY Firefighter John F. McNamara was 44 years old when he died leaving behind his wife Jennifer and son Jack. John worked for over 500 hours at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11, digging through the rubble to bring closure to so many families who lost loved ones. When Hurricane Katrina hit, John was one of the first to volunteer to go – fighting fires, rescuing stranded, wading through the aftermath and seeking any means to offer comfort and hope in the wake of devastation.
John was diagnosed with 9/11 related stage 4 colon cancer in 2006, when his wife was pregnant with Jack. Despite this devastating diagnosis, his selflessness, his inspiring brilliance, and his contagious humor all remained firm. He co-founded the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation and tirelessly advocated in Washington and New York for the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act. His endless sense of duty drove him to do all he could for all those around him, putting the needs and well being of others well before his own. It was this powerful gift of spirit that carried him and so many others through his final days. As has been the fate of so many 9/11 first responders, John lost his battle with cancer in August 2009.