columnist, The Detroit News
In 1999, Peter Waldmeir celebrated a half century of work at The Detroit News, where he started as a newsroom copyboy at the age of 17. He briefly left the News to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and returned as a sports writer, a job in which he would excel. Waldmeir was a sports columnist for eight years and became a general columnist in 1972, a position he has held for 28 years. To his readers, Waldmeir is known as one of the paper’s most popular columnists.
His children, Peter and Patti, say of their father’s work: “He is often outrageous, sometimes extreme, always politically incorrect, and occasionally excessive. But he is never bland, predictable, or boring”
As his nomination statement said, “He has pursued a 50-year crusade against bad government, bad politicians and bad athletes—without pulling his punches, even when the punches were aimed at friends.” The Detroit native is best known for his honest opinion and desire to make a difference in the community.
Waldmeir’s journalistic journey has had many rewards. He was named Sports Writer of the Year three times by the National Sports Casters and Sports Writers Association. He won the National Headliner Club Sports Writer Award as a general columnist. His work earned him Wayne State University Journalist of the Year and the Detroit Press Club “The Best In Michigan Journalism” Award.
Waldmeir is also dedicated to helping the community. He supports the Old Newsboys’ Program, which raises money for disadvantaged children during the holidays. He’s been president of the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund in Detroit for more than a decade, increasing awareness of this program and making a difference in the lives of Detroit youngsters.
In 1995, Waldmeir pulled together a collection of his Detroit News columns and put them in a book, Little Beads of Blood.