Jake Dean

(Editor’s Note: This post has been updated)

May 29, 1972 – December 10, 2022

Talented Dallas-based newspaper photographer Jake Dean died after a brief illness on December 10, 2022.

Jack Lee Dean, Jr. was born on May 29, 1972, to Charlyn Gail (Johnston) and Jack Lee Dean, Sr. Along with his older brother Adam, the family lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. He attended photography school in Denver, Colorado, and then relocated to Dallas.

Park Cities People Publisher Pat Martin said the paper hired Jake in 1993. He was already a stringer for then Photographer/Photo Editor, David Westapher, “ we told him we didn’t have a fulltime photography position open,” Martin says, “but we did need someone to lay out the TV Guide.”

Jake took the job, which opened the door to his 30-year photography career. He worked for the newspaper until 2001, when The Dallas Business Journal hired him as their staff photographer.

On his Twitter account, Jake described himself as a cyclist, N Scale loco lover ( a model train enthusiast), and saltwater fish hobbyist.

Editor in Chief Jeffrey Schnick of The Dallas Business Journal writes, “As a publication that serves an executive audience, Jake had to wear a few distinct hats. He required the creative touch of a portrait photographer (posed, candid and conceptual), the adaptability of a documentarian (photos, video, and scripts), and the deftness of a technician (apertures, Drobo drives, and mirrorless).”

Certified by the FAA with a Remote Pilot Certificate, Jake used his drone to capture aerial views of homes damaged by the October 2019 tornado, a derailed train at Tenison Park, and the Dallas and Fort Worth skylines. His assignments had him covering breaking news like the 2016 terrorist shooting attack on the Dallas Police Department downtown, the 2019 plane crash at Addison Airport that killed ten people, protests in Dallas following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and the quiet streets of the city after the Covid-19 shutdown. In 2021, he recorded the return to the State Fair with a shot of Big Tex silhouetted against the fairgrounds and the Dallas skyline.

He covered real estate and construction, manufacturing, and aviation and captured noted Dallas business leaders in their everyday working environments.

He took scores of photos of lawyers for The Texas Lawbook, especially photos of finalists for the DFW Corporate Counsel Awards.

“One of Jake’s most significant accomplishments was his 20 years of sobriety,” his brother Adam Dean shared. “He was well-known in the Alcoholics Anonymous community in Dallas. Jake gave everyone he met a comfortable, be yourself feeling. He was a father figure to many and left behind a loving family.”

Jake’s life was celebrated with stories and hugs at a memorial at the Fraternal Order of Eagles on December 18, 2022. Jake’s brother Adam wrote, “For those that have not been to the “FoE”…It is tucked down a Dallas neighborhood road and rather like Jake: cool without ever once trying to be, and almost from another age.”

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