Bach, Richard

From Astro-Databank
Revision as of 01:00, 28 January 2003 by (Talk) (Imported from Astrodatabank)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Bach, Richard Gender: M
Bach, Richard David
born on 23 June 1936 at 12:36 (= 12:36 PM )
Place Oak Park IL, USA, 41n53, 87w47
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Wilsons
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 02°05' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 28°06 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 10°10'


American writer who published four books on his life passion, flying, with moderate success. He leaped to fame with his simple, short and inspirational allegory, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," first published in August 1970, with a small print run and little promotional efforts. It became a runaway best seller by word of mouth, though Bach, reportedly a direct descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach, insisted it was more of a visionary gift than something he personally wrote.

Richard David Bach was born to Roland, a Red Cross chapter manager and former US Army chaplain, and his wife, Ruth. The tall and rangy youth grew up in Oak Park, Il and Long Beach, CA. When his high school creative writing teacher promised an "A" only if the student had a check for a published article, Bach sold a story about an astronomy club to the local newspaper. He attended Long Beach State College for a year, highlighted by flying lessons on weekends which he had in exchange for polishing a fellow student’s plane. He was drawn to the idea of flight, and quit college to join the US Air Force, where he became a fighter pilot with a ground assignment as supply officer. Consequently, he left the Air Force in 1959 and joined the Air National Guard, so he could fly jet fighters on weekends while living as a civilian.

During the ‘60s, he tried to support both his growing family and his private airplane. He worked as a technical writer for Lockheed Aircraft, and as an editor of "Flying" magazine for three years. He also took on directing the Antique Airplane Association as well as editing its magazine, "The Antiquer." In between, he did some charter-piloting, barnstorming through the Midwest, and occasional odd jobs. He failed the "personal image" test required to become a commercial airline pilot.

He sold many articles to flying publications, but his poetic style may have worked against him in getting the more lucrative reporting assignments.

Bach’s tour of active duty with the Air National Guard in 1961 and 1962 resulted in his first book, "Stranger to the Ground" which was selected for condensation by Reader’s Digest books. His second and third books were not as commercially successful: "Biplane," 1966 and "Nothing By Chance," 1969.

The beginnings of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" had taken place in 1959, when he was living in Long Beach, Calif. During a solitary walk on the beach, he heard a voice behind him that said, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull." Bach filtered the "spooky visionesque thing" for eight years, then went through a second visionary experience, resulting in a story that amounted to only 10,000 words set down in a scant three or four hours. It was published piecemeal for nominal fees in "Private Pilot" and "Soaring" in the late 1960’s when Bach was going through a personal nadir, living in a trailer with his family. He slowly made changes. He left the Iowa National Guard, left the Church of Christ, Scientist, and then left his family - a wife and six kids.

The "Seagull" manuscript had a hard time finding publishers, until a senior editor at MacMillan sent him a routine note inquiring about any new work. He sent her the manuscript, and the rest is history. The book was published in August 1970, with a small press run and minimal promotions. But through word of mouth it burgeoned onto the mass market, became a runaway best seller, and has been ranked as a classic of the adult fairy tale genre. In 1972, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" was selected for distribution by the Book-of-the-Month Club and Avon Books paid more than $1 million for the paperback rights. It was translated into a dozen languages, and a film version was made, opening in New York City on 10/24/1973.

Bach continues to write and philosophize. His post-JLS books include "Running from Safety," 1994, "One," 1988 and "The Bridge Across Forever," 1984. His latest work is "Out of My Mind," published in August 1999. Additional works are listed on his web site.

Bach remarried several times, most recently to Sabryna Nelson-Alexopoulos, April 1999.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Social : Joined group 1956 (U.S. Air Force)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1957 (First)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1970 (Divorce from first wife)
  • Financial : Bankruptcy 1981 (Owed IRS $1 million)
  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 1972 (Met Leslie Parrish while filming "Seagull.")
  • Relationship : Begin significant relationship 1976 (Began affair with Parrish)

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from the Wilsons (Born in West Suburban Hospital, so most likely to be CST)


  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ private
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction (Johnathan Livingstone Seagull)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Six)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (U.S. Air Force)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three at least)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Several)
  • Traits : Body : Size (Tall, rangy)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Loves job (Loved flying)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Extreme ups and downs (Made and lost millions)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Loss - Bankruptcy
  • Family : Parenting : Abusive - Neglectful (Left his wife and kids)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids -Traumatic event (Bethany, 15, killed in car crash)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Invest/ Stocks, Bonds (Investments, commodity trading)
  • Vocation : Writers : Magazine/ newsletter (Tech writing on aircraft)
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor (Edited flight magazines)
  • Traits : Personality : Vain/ Self-absorbed (Full of himself, ego-centered)