William Addams Reitwiesner of Washington, D.C. passed away on Friday, November 12, 2010 at the age of 56. He had suffered from cancer for more than three years. He was a genealogist best known for researching the ancestry of famous persons. He and Gary Boyd Roberts together wrote the American Ancestors and Cousins of The Princess of Wales. He researched many genealogies of American politicians that were picked up and used in popular news stories, usually without proper attribution to him.
Reitwiesner was well known for his sharp tongue and a dark sense of humor. Perhaps the most delightful work he produced, according to Dennis Cunniff, "was the puckishly titled 'The Lesbian ancestors of Prince Rainier of Monaco, Dr. Otto von Habsburg, Brooke Shields, and the Marquis de Sade'" (still available on Reitwiesner's web site at http://www.wargs.com/essays/lesbian.html).
Reitwiesner's web site contains a wealth of other material, some of it very serious, scholarly research written by Reitwiesner, one of America's leading expert genealogists. Other articles on the site display his unique sense of humor. I have no idea how long the web site will remain online so I suggest you visit it now at http://www.wargs.com/ while the material is still available.
A picture of William Addams Reitwiesner and a bit more information about his accomplishments can be found on Dag T. Hoelseth's blog at http://dagtho.blogspot.com/2010/11/william-reitwiesner-1954-2010.html.
William Addams Reitwiesner is survived by his mother, Home M. Reitwiesner, several siblings, nieces and nephews. Services have not yet been announced.
My thanks to Dennis Cunniff for this sad news.