OBST, Peter Joseph
Peter J. Obst was born in Poznan, Poland; he came to the United States in 1963 and later became an American citizen. He attended Holy Ghost Prep, and then Drexel University in Philadelphia, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Commerce and Engineering in 1977. That summer he participated in the Kosciuszko Foundation session at the Jagiellonian University.
He was later employed by Mrs. Paul's Kitchens (a frozen food processor), the US Steel Corporation, and Dow Jones, publishers of The Wall Street Journal. While working for US Steel he earned a private pilot's license and became active in the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) through its local Chapter 176 in nearby Trenton, becoming its newsletter editor. In 1988 he won the McKillop Award for the best chapter newsletter in the EAA. Later, he became president of the chapter and held a number of other offices in the organization, including membership in the Chapter Advisory Board for the national organization.
He started writing free-lance articles that appeared in The Wall Street Journal Europe, Private Pilot magazine, the Polish-American Journal and other publications. His travels to Poland and familiarity with the Polish language led to a translation of Jaroslaw Kurski's book Wódz, which was published in 1993 under the title Lech Walesa: Democrat or Dictator? by Westview Press of Boulder, Colorado.
In 1994 he started a home based business, preparing books for publication. Over the next five years he completed publishing assignments for Westview Press, the University of California, the Polish Embassy in Washington, Princeton University, and many other customers.
He is currently employed by Mr. Edward Pinkowski, a Polish-American Historian, as researcher and translator working on many projects, including research into the life of Kazimierz Pulaski.
In addition to his writing and publishing activities he also designs and maintains websites for several Polonia organizations and the Pinkowski Institute. He is a member of The Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia and for two years (2000-2001) was the Editor-in-Chief of Polish Heritage, the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) quarterly newsletter. He is active in both the ACPC and the Kosciuszko Foundation where for over five years he had served as president of the Philadelphia Chapter. He is also active with the Pulaski Jubilee Committee in Savannah, Georgia. In 2001 he was awarded the Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Merit by decree of the President of Poland.
During 2002 three more his translations from Polish were published: My Flights to Freedom, A Family from Sosnowiec, and A Man Who Spanned Two Eras, the biography of bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski.
He completed studies for an MA Degree in Central and Eastern European Studies at LaSalle University in Philadelphia (2004). The studies were supported in part by scholarship grants from the Pulaski Scholarship Fund, the Skalny and Gorecki Foundations, and the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia. On graduating in 2005 he was named the Outstanding Graduate Student in the Central and Eastern European Studies program. While still a student he twice received LaSalle's Leo Award for his essays on local Philadelphia history.
In 2004, along with several other ACPC members, he was honored with the Pulaski-O'Neill medal from the Savannah Pulaski Jubilee Committee for his work in publicizing and documenting Pulaski's history in America.
In 2005, in addition to his other work, he is teaching at LaSalle University in the evenings as an adjunct lecturer in Polish Cultural History and Foreign Literature. He has given lectures on Polish topics in both the Polish and English languages. His current translation project is a biography of Polish Marshal Jozef Pilsudski.
From: Resume (2005)