Robert James Waller grew up in Rockford, Iowa, a midwestern town of 900 people, where his mother was a housewife and his father operated a small produce business. He was educated at the University of Northern Iowa and Indiana University where he received his doctorate. As a professor, Waller taught management, economics, and applied mathematics courses at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) from 1968 to 1991, except for one year (1975-76) that he spent on leave at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. From 1979 to 1986 he also served as dean of UNI's College of Business.
He has lectured and published widely in the fields of problem-solving and decision making and has worked as a consultant to business corporations and government institutions throughout the United States and around the world. An all-conference basketball player in college, Waller also worked for over twenty years as a musician (guitar, flute, singer/songwriter) playing nightclubs and concerts, and is a serious photographer who travels the world for his images.
Among his many academic and general publications is the best-selling novel, The Bridges of Madison County, which has gone to press 64 times, has 12 million hardcover copies in print, is published in 36 languages, spent 164 weeks (over 3 years) on The New York Times bestseller list, and is the #1 selling hardcover novel of all time.
Robert lives quietly on a remote ranch in the high-desert mountains of west Texas, with his friend, Linda, along with 4 dogs, 2 horses, and 2 cats. As the spirit moves him, he pursues his interests in music, photography, writing, economics, and applied mathematics.
Robert James Waller