Richard Bach Biography


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Richard Bach was born June 23, 1936, in Oak Park, Illinois. He attended Long Beach State College for a year, and on October 15, 1957, he married Bette Jeanne Franks, with whom he had six children. The couple was divorced in 1971. Bach served in the Air Force as a pilot from 1956 to 1959 and again from 1961 to 1962. From 1961 until 1964 he was an associate editor of Flying magazine. He is currently a freelance writer, air-show pilot, and mechanic.

Until 1972, Richard Bach was the little- known author of three books in praise of flying and many articles in flying magazines. Then, with the fame of Jonathan Livingston Seagull he became a barnstorming author who spoke for popular consciousness. The cause of the change, Bach said, was a "voice" that he heard in 1959 that spoke the words "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and then proceeded to dictate the book up to the point where Jonathan is ostracized by the flock. Then the dictation stopped, and it was eight years later that Bach woke one night knowing how to finish the story.

Although the story was serialized in Private Pilot, it fit no clear niche in the publishing marketplace. The manuscript was submitted to over twenty-five publishers before being accepted. Published without fanfare in 1970, it languished for eighteen months before catching the attention of the drug subculture and eventually becoming required motivational reading throughout business and industry. Illustrated...

(The entire section is 450 words.)