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Wallace R. Wirths

Wallace Richard "Wally" Wirths (7 July 1921 – 6 July 2002), was a former Westinghouse executive, politician, author, newspaper columnist and radio commentator, who was a benefactor of Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey.[1][2]


Born in Englewood, New Jersey on 7 July 1921, Wirths attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and served in the United States Navy during peacetime.[3] In 1957, Wirths moved to Wantage Township, in Sussex County, in northwestern New Jersey where he became active in local politics serving on the county's Board of Chosen Freeholders. The author of three books, Wirths wrote a column for The New Jersey Herald and was a frequent conservative radio commentator, with his segment "Wally Wirths Candidly Speaking" on WSUS.[3] He was a public relations executive with Westinghouse Corporation until his retirement in 1979.[3]

Wirths Campus of Upsala College

Before it closed in 1995, Upsala College operated a Script error: No such module "convert". satellite campus in Wantage Township which it named the "Wirths Campus." Wirths donated his family's farm to the college in 1978.[1][2] The school had considered moving to Sussex County as East Orange's crime problem and social conditions deteriorated in the 1970s but chose to remain committed to East Orange. However, declining enrollment and financial difficulties forced the school to close.[4][5] The Wirths family bought back their farm in Wantage from the college for $75,000.[1]

Wirths received an honorary doctor of law degree from Upsala College.

Personal life

Wirths died on 6 July 2002 from complications of a stroke he suffered in 1996.[3] He was buried in Clove Cemetery in Wantage.

One of Wirths' four adopted sons is New Jersey politician Harold J. Wirths, the state's current commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.


  • 1985: Democracy: Panacea or Pandemonium
  • 1993: Democracy-- The Myth, the Reality: A Primer on the True Nature of Our Democratic Republic
  • 1996: The Human Race Stinks : Perspectives of an Iconoclast: Perspectives of an Iconoclast


  1. ^ a b c Strunksy, Steve. "IN BRIEF; Dream of a College Tinged With Sadness", The New York Times, August 2, 1998. (Retrieved July 10, 2012).
  2. ^ a b Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois) Swenson Center Archives: Wirths Campus in Sussex County records - Series XIV, Boxes 1-6, folders 1-55. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Associated Press. "Wallace Wirths, donated land for college, dies at 80" (8 July 2002). Archived from the original on 24 April 2014.
  4. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn. "IN BRIEF: Against Odds, Revival For Troubled College", The New York Times, September 21, 1992. (Retrieved July 10, 2012).
  5. ^ "IN BRIEF: The Doors Are Closed At Upsala College", The New York Times, June 4, 1995. (Retrieved July 10, 2012).