Del Quentin Wilbur got his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1997.
He stumbled on his first big story: a massive fish kill in the waterways of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Living out of a suitcase and writing in drab motel rooms for days on end, Wilber tromped along muddy shorelines, reeked of dead fish, watched fellow reporters become sick with inexplicable illnesses—and immediately knew that there was no other job he’d rather be doing.
A recovering former collegiate baseball player, Wilber joined the staff of The Baltimore Sun after landing one of the Sun’s prestigious two-year internships.
Before long, he was given a full-time position covering crime in a suburban bureau, and in 2001 the paper’s editors tapped him to cover crime in the city. Wilber’s work as a police reporter received national recognition when he won the Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting in 2004
Wilber joined the staff of the Washington Post in 2004 as the D.C. police reporter.
In 2006, he became the paper’s national aviation writer. To better understand the industry, he also became a licensed private pilot.
He got the idea to write Rawhide Down shortly after attending a hearing for John W. Hinckley Jr. and being handed the would-be assassin’s gun by an FBI agent who kept it in his drawer.
As a boy in Massachusetts, Wilber became obsessed with the Boston Red Sox, in part because his grandfather, Del Wilber, played for the Red Sox as a back-up catcher in the 1950s.
He now lives in the Washington area with his wife, NPR correspondent Laura Sullivan, and their two sons.