Born November 6, 1942, Peter Booth Wiley received a B.A. in English literature from Williams College and an M.A. in U.S. history from the University of Wisconsin.
Wiley knocked out his first publication, “The Wiley Herald,” on an old Remington when he was still in grade school. Among the toys he played with was a children’s library kit. From there he progressed to his high school and college newspapers. After graduate school, Wiley moved to San Francisco where he was one of the founders, an editor, and staff writer for Leviathan, a review of current events. He then became an editor and reporter at The Bulkhead, a newspaper for military personnel. In 1975 Wiley joined Pacific News Service where he was an associate editor and staff reporter.
In 1981 Wiley and Bob Gottlieb started a syndicated newspaper column, Points West, covering the western United States and the Pacific Basin. They also wrote occasional columns for the Sacramento Bee and the Wall Street Journal. Wiley and Gottlieb coauthored two books on the West: Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New American West and America’s Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power. Wiley was also a researcher and writer for a prize-winning public television documentary on the Mormon church, Mormons, Missionaries to the World. His articles and essays appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, Utah Holiday, Los Angeles, Sierra Club, Library Journal, Zyzzyva, and dozens of newspapers.
Wiley also wrote Yankees in the Land of the Gods: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan; A Free Library in This City: An Illustrated History of the San Francisco Public Library; and National Trust Guide, San Francisco: America’s Guide for Architecture and History Travelers. Wiley was the lead author and editor for Knowledge for Generations: Wiley and the Global Publishing Industry, 1807-2007, a history of his family's publishing company. Recent essays were "Printer's Ink in My Veins" in Lucky Break: How I Became a Writer, edited by Howard Junk, 1999, and two essays, one co-authored with Steve Rees about the GI anti-war movement during the war in Vietnam in Ten Years that Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-1978, edited by Chris Carlsson, 2011. Wiley is an executive producer of the award-winning film, Winter in the Blood, based on James Welch novel of the same name and written and directed by Alex and Andrew Smith.
In 1984 Wiley joined the board of Wiley Publishing, his family’s publishing firm. He was elected chairman in 2002 and retired as chairman in 2015. Currently Chairman Emeritus, he is still active in the business.