Born 7 February 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts. Son of John J. McNamara and Kathleen Tobin. Graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. in 1953.
After winning national titles in sailing in 1951 and 1955, he with two teammates, won the bronze medal in the 5.5 Meter class for Sailing in the 1964 Summer Olympics, held in Japan. He married Ann Louise Greep later that same year. They had three daughters.
He was a special agent in the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps from 1953 to 1957. He later worked as an investment banker and then turned to free-lance writing in 1970.
He died 18 October 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts. His obituary appears in the New York Times on 24 October 1986.