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Robert James Waller was born in Charles City, Iowa on August 1, 1939. He received a bachelor's degree in business education in 1962 and a master's degree in education in 1964 from the State College of Iowa and a doctorate of business administration in finance in 1968 from Indiana University's school of business. He taught management and economics starting in 1967 at the University of Northern Iowa and was appointed dean of its business school in 1980. While teaching, he began writing travel and nature essays for The Des Moines Register's Sunday edition. These were collected in Just Beyond the Firelight: Stories and Essays and One Good Road Is Enough. He took an unpaid leave of absence from teaching in 1990 and obtained a $200,000 grant from the state to study the future of the region. His report, Iowa: Perspectives on Today and Tomorrow, was published in 1991. His first novel, The Bridges of Madison County, was published in 1992. It was adapted into a film in 1995 starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and as a Broadway musical in 2014. His other novels included Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend, Puerto Vallarta Squeeze: The Run for el Norte, Border Music, A Thousand Country Roads: An Epilogue to The Bridges of Madison County, High Plains Tango, and The Long Night of Winchell Dear. He also recorded an album entitled The Ballads of Madison County. He died from multiple myeloma on March 10, 2017 at the age of 77. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Bridges of Madison County
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