Biographical Information:

Dates: 1924-1998Dates in Ridgefield: 1975-1998
journalism, nonfiction, historynewspaper reporter, magazine editor
Journalist Peter Wyden wrote 15 books examining such touchstone events and issues of the 20th Century as the atomic bomb, the Holocaust, the Berlin Wall, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Spanish Civil War, and mental illness. A native of Berlin, he was born in 1923 but fled with his Jewish parents to New York in 1937. He was a writer for the Army during the war, then became a reporter for newspapers such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; an editor for Newsweek, Saturday Evening Post, and McCall’s; and executive editor at Ladies Home Journal. Among his books was Bay of Pigs: The Untold Story--which won an Overseas Press Club Award--for which he had a six-hour interview with Fidel Castro. “He was very proud, for good reason,” Mr. Wyden said in a 1979 Ridgefield Press interview. “How many island countries have licked the United States of America? Nobody. Look at it objectively, no ideology attached. He won. It was the most spectacular defeat of the United States this century.” Other Wyden books include Stella: One Woman's True Tale of Evil, Betrayal, and Survival in Hitler's Germany; Wall: The Inside Story of Divided Berlin; and Day One: Before Hiroshima and After. His last, most difficult--and among his most praised--book was Conquering Schizophrenia: A Father, His Son and A Medical Breakthrough, which dealt with his 25 years of trying to help his schizophrenic son, Jeff. His other son is U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who once told a reporter, "My dad probably was the one who showed me life can be silly sometimes, and you better accept it.” A 24-year Ridgefielder, Mr. Wyden died in 1998 at the age of 74.
Titles (partial):Bay of Pigs: The Untold Story, 1979Day One: Before Hiroshima and After, 1984Wall: The Inside Story of Divided Berlin, 1989Stella: One Woman’s True Tale of Evil, Betrayal, and Survival in Hitler’s Germany, 1992Conquering Schizophrenia: A Father, His Son, and a Medical Breakthrough, 1998
--Sources: Notable Ridgefielders–Jack Sanders; New York Times obit, January 29, 1998
Check the library catalog for titles by this author.