Photo courtesy of Ridout's Valley Chapel

William H. Wood

Birmingham, Alabama

Jun 23, 1943 - Nov 16, 2012

Guest Book

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Bill Wood was one of the best people I ever knew. He was an outstanding editor but also a wonderful weekly guest on my TV show, On the Record, in its opening years back in the early 90's. I loved going to Orioles games with him and my other late friend, Ken Geroe as well as George Raiss, best buddy to both of them. I never went through the Sorensen program, but I can't think of a better use of Bill's talents than helping the next generation of public servants learn about politics and...

Bill married brilliance to self-deprecating humility. He was smarter than most of us who had the pleasure of working with him, but he displayed the restraint it took not to lord his intellect over us. He genuinely cared about people, not because compassion was politically correct or professionally expedient, but because he understood the roles of civility and shared sacrifice in a democratic society. I can think of no one better equipped to drive home those principles as an editorial writer...

Bill was a thoroughly affable man and a public servant in the broadest sense of the term. He was, by sheer decency, an integral part of the Sorensen experience for me, and not just its director. I'm thankful to have known him.

Bill was a model of fairness, balance and friendliness. He created an atmosphere in which fierce partisans on opposing sides would like to talk with each other and could find common ground. He knew baseball backward and forward and was always fun to catch up with about any topic, but especially his twin loves of baseball and politics.

He was the best of the best, a southern gentlemen of incredible intelligence and heart. I am so grateful to have known and learned so very much from him.

I will remember with gratitude what a happy presence you and Carol were in my sister Carolyn's life. The two of you have made a difference to so many people and to the world of ideas.

I have many happy memories of working with Bill at The Virginian-Pilot and join his loved ones in missing him. Peace.

I am pleased to have shared a wonderful friendship with Bill beginning the days of his Word With Wood column in the Beacon. He played some fine tennis in those days...a great serve developed from his high school baseball pitching days. It was always a pleasure to be in Bill's presence. He will be missed by many of us.

Uncle Bill, you were simply the best! I am sad to see you go as it seems the world now needs your influence more than ever. My prayer is that each friend, student and relative of yours carries your beautiful light on in their heart.


William's Obituaries

Bill Wood, Founding Director of U.Va.'s Sorensen Institute, Dies at 69William H. Wood, the former newspaperman who became founding director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, died Nov. 16 at home. He was 69.The cause was complications of Alzheimer's....

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