< Back to All News

KGO's Pete Wilson dies at 62

Veteran KGO-TV news anchor and KGO radio host Pete Wilson died Friday night at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto from a massive heart attack suffered during hip replacement surgery, the station announced today. The heart attack occurred during surgery on Thursday and doctors battled to save him for more than a day, but he was removed from life support and succumbed at 9:20 p.m. Friday.

Wilson, 62, is survived by his wife, Sandra, and son Brendan, who is in college.

On his last radio show Wednesday, Wilson said he was nervous about having surgery. [Link to mp3 of his monologue.] He said:

This afternoon on KGO radio, host David Lazarus said he wasn’t ignoring Wilson’s death, but said management decided they wouldn’t take calls from listeners about it until Monday when they could prepare a proper tribute. But Lazarus said it felt like a death in the family and was going to let a few calls slip through anyway.

On sister station KSFO, Barbara Simpson was taking such calls, with many listeners noting his passion and his efforts to be fair to people on both sides of a story.

Update: An on-air memorial is planned from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday on KGO-AM.

Born and raised in central Wisconsin, Wilson was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in journalism and creative writing. A Vietnam veteran, Wilson began his news broadcasting career on a small country-western station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin while attending graduate school.

Wilson came to San Francisco in 1983 and was the anchor who replaced the legendary Van Amburg at KGO-TV. Wilson remained at Channel 7 until 1990, when he moved to KRON Channel 4. In 2002, Wilson returned to KGO-TV.

He earned numerous honors, including Associated Press awards, five Emmys and he shared two Peabody awards.

During virtually his entire career, in addition to anchoring and reporting, Wilson has hosted talk and interview shows including the top-rated afternoon radio program on KGO-AM.

Wilson’s family is asking people not to send flowers. Instead, they request you make a donation to the charity of your choice.

Update: Wilson’s family said Sunday they appreciate the support from fans, friends, and colleagues. “We are overwhelmed, embraced and grateful for the expressions of sympathy and support we are experiencing. In a time of grief for our family we find comfort in knowing that Pete’s larger family of friends, colleagues, viewers and listeners share this with us,” Wilson’s immediate family said in a statement.

< Back to All News