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Mourning The Loss of Pete DeCoursey

Pete DeCoursey
Pete DeCoursey

Pete DeCoursey, bureau chief of CapitolWire, died earlier this week.

He will be greatly missed by the entire Pennsylvania political community.

The following obituary, written by Charlie Thompson, was originally posted on PennLive.Com on January 1st.

Peter L. DeCoursey, an inveterate political junkie who turned a lifelong obsession into a colorful news career, died Wednesday at his parents’ home in Philadelphia after long battles against pancreatic and lung cancers.

DeCoursey, who worked in or covered Pennsylvania politics for most of three decades, served most recently as bureau chief for the online news service Capitolwire.com, where he published his last column this week.

The divorced father of two was 52.

DeCoursey made his biggest mark across Pennsylvania after getting his first assignment as a full-time Harrisburg-based political writer with The Patriot-News in 1997, and he spent the next 16 years painstakingly dissecting the work of four governors and the state Legislature.

As his career evolved, DeCoursey grew to be a mainstay on statewide talk shows and often popped up on pundits’ lists of “most influential” figures in state politics.

Junior lawmakers and state office wanna-bes considered it a big day if they were included in a DeCoursey piece.

But even as a rookie in the Pennsylvania Capitol’s newsroom, he was no novice to politics.

In fact, turning the typical career arc on its head, DeCoursey started his professional career on the political inside as an aide to former Philadephia City Councilwoman Ann Land, and later as a press secretary to former U.S. Rep. Bob Borski, D-Philadelphia.

Read more on PennLive.

2 Responses

  1. Pete was a good guy, a pleasure to read and still lived in Berks County after he moved on from the Reading Eagle. I saw him occaisionally on Pennsylvania Newsmakers.Reading Eagle editor H. Deitz, Jr. was quoted in today’s edition, ” We were sorry when he left our staff, but with his background it was understandable that he wanted to work for the paper in the state capital”. Well, Harry, that may very well be the case, but after a while he probably realized that he would not get past the mediocre reporter who covered the State House for the Eagle and who acted like he knew a lot, but never wrote like he did. Rest easy Pete, YOU will be well remembered by followers of PA politics a long time.

  2. Pete was respected statewide by journalists, too. I could get a background sentence in a twinkle via a quick email query. Payback? Naah; pay it forward, he’d suggest. Good journalist, great man.

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