Pete Wirs wrote his first newspaper article Sept. 13, 1968 for the Doylestown (PA) Daily Intelligencer. He worked as a radio news broadcaster for WBUX while in high school and did the first live remote report in the station's history. Wirs was a "stringer" for KYW Newsradio on election nights, and wrote his last story for the Associated Press on January 1, 1983 while the AP was still inside the old Evening Bulletin Building..
Pete Wirs covered Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagon and George H.W. Bush and Pope John Paul II.. Wirs broke the story about Carter's admission that the Iranian held U.S. hostages were relocated, May 9, 1980.
Wirs was only among the few journalists who knew Deep Throat, the anonymous source for the Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, later to be revealed as FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.
Wirs teamed up with renown columnist Jack Anderson to save United Press International in 1984. The Federal bankruptcy judge, George Francis Bacon, later admitted that the plan authoried by Anderson and Wirs to convert UPI into a cooperative would have been the most viable plan to save the wire service.
Pete Wirs has been a member of Historic Old St. George's since 1977. In Old City, Old St. George's is America's first and world's oldest Methodist Church. Wirs Rev. Mark Salvacion, State Rep. Mary Isaacson, Phila. City Councilman Mark Squilla, and Frank Renshaw, the old church member Frank Renshaw, who joined the church in 1974 on Nov. 24, 2019, the 250th Anniversary of the church.. Renshaw and Wirs are the two longest-serving members at St. George's.
On November 22, 2003, Pete Wirs took as his wife Anna May, who joining the Church one month earlier, became the first church members to be married in Old St. George's in almost 100 years. Their wedding was the last to be officiated by Rev. Dr. Robert Lord Curry, the 140th Pastor of St. George's, serving for 19 years from 1972 to 1991.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Wirs as Chairman of the Presidential Inaurgural Prayer Committee in 1985 and has served since then for President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. The ceremony takes place on the Sunday preceding Inauguration Day with the President exchanging prayers with the Pastor of Old St. George's. This ceremony commemorates the first exchange of prayers between President George Washingotn and Bishop Francis Asbury on May 29, 1789. Historians regard this exhange as the first acknowledgment of the separation of Church and State doctrine.
Pete Wirs served as a member of the Chalfont Fire Company, assigned to the North Branch Station (now inactive), which housed a 1948 Maxim taken out of mothball.
President Reagan appointed Pete Wirs to serve as chairman of the National Fire Service 250th Anniversary celebration. Wirs, along with Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Edward Mann and Philadelphia Fire Commissioner William Richmond conducted a memorial church service at Historic Old St. George's then laid a wreath at Benjamin Franklin's gravesite on December 7, 1986.
As the Trustee of the Lincoln Charitable Trust, Pete Wirs has set aside funds to establish the nation's first aerial firefighting company and bringing back into life the SMS - the Suspended Maneuvering System (SMS) developed by McDonnell Douglas in 1978 and now owned by Boeing. The SMS, popularly known as the "Flying Fire Engine" is a 7x8 foot rescue platform that hung by a 500 to 1000 foot cable from an overhead helicopter. The SMS has a small engine that powered thruster nozzles so the SMS could be moved horizontally. It could hold up to 19 firefighters. The SMS would be used as originally intended - fire and rescue operations of high rise buildings and remote rural locations inaccessible by motor vehicle.
What began on Cotober 4, 2007 as the Republican Leadership Trust, renamed in 2009 as the Roosevelt-Bentman Trust and now the Lincoln Charitable Trust, was established by a grant by Dr. John Templeton, Jr., who designated Pete Wirs, Fred Hess and former U.S. Third Circuit Appeals Judge Arlin Adams as the initial co-trustees. Judge Adams was succeeded by Florida National Republican Committeeman H. Paul Senft, as designated by then RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
Regrettably, RNC political operatives have tried to destroy the Trust, the case now being litigated in the Federal courts, after the RNC lost in arbitration in Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee, 2018 WL 7568871 (June 6, 2018).
On June 3, 2016, the doctors confirmed that Pete Wirs suffers from Mitochondrial Disease ("Mito" for short), a progressive, catastrophic terminal illness. Mito is a mutation of mitochondria, the body's energy power plants. Mito patients don't generate the required amount of energy the body requires. All body organs are adversely affected, but usually the muscles and the lungs are the first to go.
A heretofore unknown variant of Mito (there are hundreds) was found in Wirs. Wirs has only about 80% of energy the body requires.
Despite being terminally ill with Mito, Pete Wirs both wrestles and runs marathons. Why? Because exercise mitigates Mito, as muscles call on reserve cells to provide energy.
* Became first American and first male to be terminally ill to compete in a non-Paralympic national championship April 27, 2017 at USA Wrestling Veterans Nationals, Las Vegas, NV.
* Became first person to be terminally ill to win a non-Paralympic national championship at May 20, 2017 at USA Wrestling Beach Wrestling Championships, Carolina Beach, NC, and then win a second non-Paralympic national championship, May 19, 2018 at USA Wrestling Beach Wrestling Championship.
* Became the first terminally ill Paralympic to compete and complete in a marathon, AACR Phila. Marathon , Nov. 18, 2018 (6:45:36. Pace 15.28. Placement by Age (61-65) 171 of 178, Sex 5,328 of 5,371, Overall 9,412 of 9,516).
If Wirs wrestles or runs, then why is he on crutches? --- One of Mitochondrial Disease's many side effects is what's call Misfiring, the muscles don't always obey the neurological commands. As a result, I fall. However, muscles keep cells in reserve to be utilized for extra energy while exercising. These reserve cells minimize any risk of Misfiring while exercising.
Once the RNC ends its frivolous legal challenges, Wirs can assume his judicial adjunct duties in Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee.
Pete Wirs is deeply appreciative of everyone's prayers and support as his wife, Anna May, undergoes extensive medical tests regarding the possible onset of Alzheimer's. Her service dog, Moxie, pauses for a can of Moxie, which is the official soft drink of the State of Maine.