We learned today the sad news that founding member John Wilson passed away last night. He was member #4 and a leader in newsrooms years before NLGJA’s founding.
The New York Times has shared this message with us:
“John Wilson, our beloved colleague, passed away suddenly overnight. He was 56. For nearly a decade, he has been the Atlas upon whose shoulders the science department rests, our arbiter of style and news judgment; but also our song-loving, mischief-making, nurturing, life-embracing friend. We miss him. He is survived by his partner, Dick Poirier, his mother, Barbara Wilson, and his brother, Rick Wilson. Information about memorials will follow.”
We think it fitting to share portions of this nomination to NLGJA’s Hall of Fame written by John’s dear friend Jane Daugherty:
John Wilson, assistant science editor, The New York Times
From Jane Daugherty, NLGJA National Board Member:
"John Wilson, assistant science editor of the New York Times, is one of those dignified, discreet, highly professional but terribly courageous gay journalists who has inspired many of us. His NLGJA membership card, number four, speaks volumes...
"I have known John for almost 25 years, first as a professional colleague at The Miami Herald, but soon as a friend. John came out at The Herald in the early '80s when there were few, if any, out homosexuals in the newsroom. After he took a sabbatical in Europe, we both found ourselves working for newspapers in Detroit, where at the Detroit News he was an inspiration to a number of younger gay journalists who were able to come out in a sometimes risky atmosphere."
In her closing comments, Jane referred to John as both a "courageous journalist and a courageous gay man."
Cards and flowers may be sent to John’s partner at the following address:
529 West 42nd Street, #6D
New York, NY 10036