Let's capture some of why we loved Wilke so much. As one friend of his put it:

"...write up an anecdote – some story where they watched Wilke build up into righteous anger when reporting a story... or ironing out a crease in the fabric of the Journal bureau... And someone should talk about him tearing up when he described taking his kid to college…..Or when he became nearly inconsolable when the anthrax story came back and cost him two fantastic seats at the Nats-Mets game. Describe a time he filled in for people, picked up their loads for them, counseled them, slipped them incredible sources, shared bylines... that will keep him alive and you (and the rest of us) afloat."

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An appreciation

John Wilke was a wonderful investigative journalist. He had passion, style, and was relentless when on a story. It was evident that although John was very serious about the work, he also had fun while in pursuit. I had the privilege of first meeting John during the FTC review of the AOL Time Warner merger. We all know how rare investigative reporters are in journalism–especially those interested in ensuring that both business and government be held accountable. John was a breath of spirited fresh air–someone you could give documents, a source or a story angle to and would then do their best. It was a joy to see him at work.

He will be missed. I know he inspired me and I’m sure countless others. My condolences go to his family, his colleagues, and his many fans among the public.

Jeff Chester

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