Claudia Rosett-Wilson

Obituary of Claudia A. Rosett-Wilson

Claudia passed away peacefully at home after a long illness. She was a truly exceptional lady with of formidable intellect, enormous innate curiosity, and vast determination. She led a remarkable life, travelling to all parts of the planet in pursuit of true investigative journalism. Despite her natural modesty and desire for privacy at home and in her local area, she reported on many major historic moments and wrote many defining editorials, (both signed and unsigned), large numbers of opinion pieces and front page stories for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). She was the Opinion Page Editor of the Asian WSJ, (based in Hong Kong for 6 years) the Bureau Chief in Moscow (for 4 years) and a member of the WSJ Editorial Board. Claudia was the only major US print reporter present during the Chinese Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 (running through Chinese Army automatic weapons fire to file her story). She was the lead reporter of the Russian invasion of Chechnya and Boris Yeltsin's shelling of the Moscow "White House". Claudia led in the reporting of the North Korean labor camps in Russian (where she found that North Korean laborers paid bribes to be sent to Siberia because living conditions were better than at home in North Korea). She also led in revealing the massive, world-wide leadership corruption of the UN Oil-for-Food scandal and the Chinese destruction of democracy in Hong Kong. Claudia Rosett won many journalism awards, including an Overseas Press Club award for her reporting from Tiananmen; many felt that only politics prevented her from receiving a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting of the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal. Claudia's skills were the product of her great intellect and her unusual background. She was the daughter of a classical economist and a gifted and animated mother. Claudia graduated at 16 from Brighton High School in Rochester, NY. and spent a gap year in Holland, learning fluent Dutch and working as an aide in a home for the mentally less able. She was also one of the first women to go to Yale (which she said she enjoyed due to the 40:1 ration of men to women) where she graduated with a degree in English. She then got a master's degree in English at Columbia and an MBA from Chicago School of Business. After schooling, Claudia set her sights on working at the WSJ, a goal she achieved by writing a response to criticism of a Dr. Seuss book in Dr Seuss style rhyme, thus securing a post as assistant books editor at the Journal. Claudia Wilson was learned, well read, brave, a wonderful wordsmith in the English language and a lover of poetry. She was driven to reveal the world as it was and was the bane of tyrants and corruption worldwide. In her private life she was generous, candid and loving. Those who knew her well found her a constant source of inspired comment. The world is a poorer place with her passing and to her many friends, she is irreplaceable. Contributions in her name are invited to the Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester NY. Their donations page is at
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