Thomas Warren Wadlow died Oct. 28 at Washington Hospital Center from complications of pneumonia and heart disease, according to his partner of 20 years, Malek Zaarour. He was 86.
Wadlow, who was gay, was born May 12, 1925 to Floyd and Eleanor Wadlow in Detroit. He had three sisters, Virginia, Suzanne and Colette.
Wadlow attended seminary in New York but left to join the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Arizona in Tucson studying political science and French. He then moved to San Francisco where he lived for 18 years working as an archivist at the Federal Records Centers.
He was previously married to Pauline Pappas, an opera singer, with whom he had seven children — Thomas, Monica, Lauren, Valerie, Lisa, Paul and Maria. The marriage ended in divorce.
Wadlow moved to Washington in 1972 to be chief of records disposition for the National Archives. Among his accomplishments was the organization of old federal court records dating to the 18th century and a handbook on cataloging government archives that is used around the world. He enjoyed collecting art, traveling and listening to classical music.
Plans are being made for a Mass and memorial service but no details were available at press time.