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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Wilke appeared in my life in early 2006. The Wall Street Journal hired me to write the Law Blog, a new venture surely met with skepticism by some of the old-school print types. But not Wilke.

Though I hadn't met him in person, he started sending emails immediately, commenting on a post or tipping me off to an interesting legal development. The blog was also the beneficiary of Wilke's massive antitrust scoops and those crazy whistleblower lawsuit stories he broke. Though his articles dealt with deadly serious topics he laced them with hilarious details, making them eminently bloggable.

After a few months in the new gig, I visited the D.C. bureau. Wilke reminded me several times throughout the day that a group was getting together for beers after work. At the bar, he made a point of not only introducing me to Journal reporters, but also peers from the Post and the Times. They all loved Wilke. My fiancee met us out, and he took the time to chat her up. She left the bar loving him too.

The most popular guy in the class made the new kid feel welcome. It doesn't get more kind and generous than that. I'll never forget him.

Peter Lattman

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