Ted Wilson began his career as a high school teacher at the Leysin American School in Leysin, Switzerland and later at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City. A life-long skier and mountaineer, Wilson has climbed in the Wasatch Range, the Alps, the Himalaya, South America, and throughout the United States including Alaska. He is a former mountaineering ranger in Grand Teton National Park and a former mountain guide with Exum Mountain Guides in the Tetons. Wilson has been involved in political life and government service since 1965. Joining the Wayne Owens for Congress campaign in 1972, he wound up as Chief of Staff to Owens in the 1973-74 Congress. In 1975 Wilson was appointed as Social Service Director for Salt Lake County.
Late in 1975, Wilson was elected to the office of Mayor of Salt Lake City. He served as mayor until 1985 when he became the Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah and a member of the Political Science faculty.
While mayor, Wilson oversaw the building of a new airport, rapid growth of the business community, rebuilding the city's wastewater treatment plant, fighting the floods of 1983 and 1984, and changing the form of city government from a commission form to a council-mayor form in 1980. He won three campaigns for Mayor of Salt Lake City. In 1982 he ran against Senator Orrin Hatch for the United States Senate and in 1988 against Governor Norm Bangerter for Governor. Wilson enjoys close friendships with both Hatch and Bangerter today in spite of vigorous campaigns.
Wilson has written two books: The Wasatch Front, a Utah Geographic Series publication and Utah, Then and Now, a Westcliffe publication, which includes a chapter on skiing and climbing at Alta. He also pens a weekly political column in the Deseret News, a Salt Lake City daily newspaper, entitled Wilson and Webb with LaVarr Webb, a longtime friend and associate and someone he enjoys differing with.
Ted Wilson has a deep love for Alta, having skied there since childhood. Wilson and friends pioneered many of the mountaineering and rock climbing routes in the canyon. Backcountry skiing in Little Cottonwood is now his favorite thing to do.