Wayne Weidie was born on June 20, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He moved several times across the southeast United States before settling in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where he graduated from Pascagoula High School in 1959. Wayne attended Mississippi State University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 1962 and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. He then attended graduate school at Louisiana State University before returning to the family business in Pascagoula. From there he followed his passion of politics and journalism into the newspaper business when he and a group of partners purchased the Ocean Springs Record.
For twenty years, 1970-1990, he was publisher and editor of the Ocean Springs Record and the Gautier Independent. He also authored a syndicated column, "The Political Scene," from 1972 to 1990, and served as a political analyst for WLOX-TV in Biloxi, MS, for several years. He was a past president of the Mississippi Press Association and the MPA Education Foundation Board of Directors.
His love of politics led to Wayne's management of Republican Gil Carmichael's bids for Governor and U.S. Senate. He was a graduate fellow of the Mississippi Institute of Politics at Millsaps College in 1975, which was followed by a stint as a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1976. When Gene Taylor was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, he appointed Wayne as his chief of staff. Wayne served Rep. Taylor in this role until 2004, when he left to join the firm of Adams and Reese as a senior governmental affairs consultant in Washington.
Upon retirement from Adams and Reese in 2014, Wayne resumed his journalism career with The Weidie Report, a blog in which he often made news and offered commentary in his own unique style on state and national politics. He made frequent entries on various issues until early 2019.
Wayne was a passionate Mississippi State Bulldog, and had a long, rich relationship with his alma mater. In addition to being a longtime season ticket holder in football, basketball and baseball, he served as a member of MSU's Stennis Institute of Government Advisory Board and was instrumental in the establishment of the Stennis-Montgomery Association. In 1993, Wayne donated his professional and personal papers from his journalism and congressional careers to the Congressional and Political Research Center at the MSU Libraries.
Wayne Weidie died on August 15, 2019 at his residence in Venice, Florida. He is survived by his wife, Kim Wolford of Venice, FL, children Stuart (Ann) Weidie of Asheville, NC, Courtney Lea Carballido of Asheville, NC, and Kyle (Kai) Weidie of Brooklyn, NY and grandchildren; Emily (Ford) Willis, Jacob Weidie, Joshua Weidie, Isaac Weidie, Samuel Weidie, and Olivia Weidie.
The Wayne W. Weidie Internship Program was established by the family and friends of the late Wayne William Weidie to honor his long commitment and dedication to his alma mater. The program is intended to help offset costs associated for undergraduate students who are participating in internship programs in Washington, D.C. and Jackson, MS. The stipend will offset costs such as travel, lodging, etc that comes with an internship opportunity. Wayne's passion was advancing MSU's presence and influence amongst political ranks, which led to his help in establishing the Stennis-Montgomery Association in the 1990s. SMA has proven to be a valuable pipeline for MSU students seeking internship and employment opportunities in the political and government sectors.