Private clocker John Wilson dead at age 74
written by Jay Privman - Jan 03, 2020
ARCADIA, Calif. – John Wilson, a longtime private clocker in Southern California who helped bring daily clocking reports to the public four decades ago via the on track tip sheet Baedeker’s Guide, died unexpectedly last week at age 74.
Wilson was known for his unfailing integrity, sense of humor, and devotion to his only child, a daughter, Mia, whom he raised as a single parent after his marriage dissolved.
Forty years ago, Wilson approached Bob Baedeker with the idea of adding daily clocker reports to the handicapping information in Baedeker’s Guide. It was a revolutionary idea that has carried forth to this day.
“Back then, clockers were few and far between,” Baedeker recalled. “There was nothing like it back then. He was a very bright guy. Honest. No doubt he was one of the best ever.”
Wilson was drafted during the Vietnam War, and was assigned to military intelligence in South Korea.
“He told me he’d sign ‘Ho Chi Minh’ to top-secret documents to see if anyone was reading what he was writing,” his daughter said.
In recent years, when Mia had severe health problems, Wilson “did everything he could to help me heal from cancer, get on my feet,” his daughter said.
Wilson was born in Glendale, Calif., and – except for his military stint – lived there his entire life. He is survived by his daughter, and a sister, Jean Decker. Services are pending.