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In Appreciation: Dark Reading's Tim Wilson

Dark Reading co-founder and editor-in-chief Tim Wilson passed away on Nov. 23.

Dark Reading Staff

November 24, 2021

4 Min Read
Photo of Tim Wilson, Dark Reading co-founder and editor-in-chief
Tim Wilson, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Dark ReadingSource: Tim Wilson

With profound sadness, we share the news that Timothy Wilson, Dark Reading's co-founder and editor-in-chief — and our dear friend — passed away last night after a brave battle with cancer that took him from his family, friends, and colleagues far too soon.

Tim has served as the leader, visionary, and heart and soul of Dark Reading, which he co-founded on May 1, 2006. He was the quintessential journalist who held true to the ethics and integrity of quality content and ensuring that Dark Reading remained steadfast in its ultimate mission: to serve its readers, cybersecurity professionals. Tim was a gifted writer, reporter, and editor who unselfishly and patiently shared his expertise, insight, and guidance with his team here at Dark Reading, the extended Dark Reading family at Informa Tech and Informa LLC — and, of course, the cybersecurity industry.

Tim was a pioneer in the evolution from print to online business and technology journalism, with a clear-eyed view of the challenges and opportunities it brought to reporting and the media business. Tim brought a fresh voice — and even a bit of irreverence where appropriate — to Dark Reading in his flagship reporting and columns. Among some of the most important stories he covered for Dark Reading were the DNS cache-poisoning flaw discovered by the late Dan Kaminsky; the 2007 Gary Min case, one of the first malicious insider threat attacks; Heartland Payment Systems' massive data breach and so many other major news events. His body of work on the site is vast and, in many cases, was groundbreaking for the industry.

Tim was the mastermind behind Dark Reading's two feature sections, The Edge and DR Technology. His goal: to provide readers with deep-dive treatments of timely and important topics. He also expanded our site's topic-specific sections as technologies and trends dictated, and he spearheaded Dark Reading's foray into digital events, including webinars and virtual events. Tim forged strong partnerships with our sister cybersecurity brands Black Hat and Omdia, as well as InformationWeek and Network Computing.

Tim was a journalist with a keen instinct for the future of both media and cybersecurity, and he was enthusiastic about building a community and bringing people together in new ways in the present. His vision of a conference for security defenders led to the creation of the INSecurity event, a true defenders' conference. Tim always saw the value of creating spaces where people could connect and share ideas.

Tim was always the face of Dark Reading and was proud to represent it at industry events such as Black Hat, Interop, and the RSA Conference. The industry recognized his contributions as well: Tim was named as one of the top cybersecurity journalists in the US by the SANS Institute in 2010, and in 2011, he was named as one of the 50 Most Powerful Voices in Security by SYS-CON Media.

Prior to Dark Reading, Tim was the business editor at Network Computing, chief of reporters for InternetWeek, and head of editorial operations at a major IT industry newsletter publishing firm. He also had two stints working as an IT industry analyst specializing in computer networking. Early in his career, Tim worked as a public relations representative for a technology company.

Tim's path to journalism began at William & Mary, his beloved alma mater, where he worked on the campus newspaper, The Flat Hat, as a sports editor and then editor-in-chief. He also worked as a news reporter and DJ for the campus radio station, WCWM. Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government at W&M.

Tim was an avid fan of his hometown professional sports teams in Washington, DC, especially the Washington Football Team and the Washington Nationals baseball team.

Tim is survived by his two daughters, Ginger and Gwen, who were the pride and joy of his life; his sisters, Anne McEwan, Terry Gottleib, and Nancy Morris; several nieces and nephews; and his dear friend Clarissa, mother to his daughters, who cared for him during his illness. Tim had recently turned 59.

Dark Reading has always reflected Tim's talents, vision, and heart. There is so much more we want to write and remember about Tim and his legacy. We will be honoring him in the coming days and weeks here on Dark Reading. 

Until then, we'll leave you with Tim's own words, recently expressing his vision for Dark Reading on its 15th anniversary in May of this year:

"Throughout all those stories, and many more, Dark Reading has had a single goal: to help cybersecurity professionals do their jobs. We’ve done our best to provide the most comprehensive, detailed coverage of threats and vulnerabilities, so that those who have to defend against them will be ready. And 15 years later, that’s still our goal today. We want to be the one site you rely on for the most up-to-date, in-depth, and useful information about cybersecurity threats and best practices.

"... Fifteen years. It’s been a wild ride, but a great one. ..."

Excerpts from Tim Wilson's May 3, 2021, column, "Dark Reading Celebrates 15th Anniversary."

An obituary for Tim Wilson can be found here.

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