The Bronx-born MacNeil arrived in Washington in 1949 to report on Congress for the United Press. He worked for Time from 1958 until his retirement in 1987. In 1964, MacNeil became one of the first congressional correspondents on television. He began delivering weekly news and commentary about Congress on WETA, a public television station in Washington. His program, "Neil MacNeil Reports," continued until 1967, when the station originated "Washington Week in Review," on which Mr. MacNeil frequently appeared as a commentator. The program was broadcast nationally by the Public Broadcasting Service. He wrote three books: Forge of Democracy: The House of Representatives, 1963; Dirksen: Portrait of a Public Man, 1970; and The President’s Medal 1789-1977, 1977, a study of presidential inaugural medals. At the time of his death, MacNeil was completing a fourth book, tentatively titled Call The Roll: A Candid History of the United States Senate. For many years he served on the executive committee of the Congressional Periodical Press Galleries. In 1980 he won the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress.