PHOENIX (AP) — Frank Shankwitz, a co-founder of the Make-A-Wish charity and a former Arizona state trooper, has died. The Make-A-Wish organization confirmed Shankwitz’s death on Monday. Details including a cause of death were not immediately given. He was 77.
Make-A-Wish is known for granting the wishes of children dealing with critical illnesses. “Wishes” range from trips to day-long experiences. The organization was created in 1980 after Shankwitz and five others helped a 7-year-old Phoenix boy battling leukemia be a highway patrol officer for a day. Shankwitz was a patrol officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety from 1972 until his retirement in 1996.