It’s been 20 years since I worked at the ABC owned and operated, KGO-TV in
One of those legendary folks was anchorman, Pete Wilson. It was hard to miss Pete in
He passed away last Friday night after heart complications from a routine hip surgery. Pre-operative tests did not show evidence of the arterial occlusions that caused his massive heart attack on Thursday during his surgery. I can only imagine the efforts the medical team at
The Pete Wilson I remember loved to talk to people about everything. He was constantly engaged in what others were doing and loved to debate all the issues that he perceived important to the community. As much as he enjoyed celebrity, he never let it go to his head. Chapin Day, his close personal friend, colleague and family spokesman found a piece of hate mail from a viewer dated 1994, while cleaning out his office this week and wasn’t surprised by the fact that Pete had hung onto it all these years. He was simply self-deprecating and endearing while twisting your arm to see things his way. His passions were his family, golf, landscape painting and his career. It seemed he had finally found his niche returning to KGO after a 12 year run at KRON, settling back down at his old home, anchoring the evening news and hosting his own talk show on radio in the afternoons. Pete was a looming yet comforting 6’5 presence in the newsroom. Much like a teddy bear, he could easily turn into a hurricane if someone pushed his buttons. He was a pontificator always but seemed at ease both on and off the air. J.D. has a memory of being in the newsroom with him doing an interview about how broadcasters show their bias through their facial expressions, and Pete gave him an earful with both feet propped up on his typewriter and both hands behind his head. He wasn’t about being perfect or being pretty…he was about getting it right and making it interesting.
Pete Wilson was the first person who showed me how to golf. I was in my early 20’s and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. He had the patience of a saint and the competitive spirit of Russian gymnast. When he first arrived at KGO from Fox40 in
He was a fire cracker and we loved being around him. I can’t imagine the newsroom being the same without him there to fill the huge void he has left. Surely there are lush greens in heaven and perfect weather for golfing and painting. Mr. Wilson, you will be sorely missed.