|Birthname||Richard David Bach|
|born on||23 June 1936 at 12:36 (= 12:36 PM )|
|Place||Oak Park, Illinois, 41n53, 87w47|
|Timezone||CDT h5w (is daylight saving time)|
|Astrology data||02°02' 27°35 Asc. 28°22'|
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.
- Social : Joined group 1956 (U.S. Air Force)
- Relationship : Marriage 1957 (First)
- Relationship : Divorce dates 1970 (Divorce from first wife)
- Relationship : Meet a significant person 1972 (Met Leslie Parrish while filming "Seagull.")
- Relationship : Begin significant relationship 1976 (Began affair with Parrish)
- Financial : Bankruptcy 1981 (Owed IRS $1 million)
B.C. in hand from the Wilsons (Born in West Suburban Hospital, so most likely to be CST)
- Traits : Body : Size (Tall, rangy)
- Traits : Personality : Vain/ Self-absorbed (Full of himself, ego-centered)
- Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Several)
- Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three at least)
- Family : Parenting : Abusive - Neglectful (Left his wife and kids)
- Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Six)
- Family : Parenting : Kids -Traumatic event (Bethany, 15, killed in car crash)
- Lifestyle : Work : Loves job (Loved flying)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Extreme ups and downs (Made and lost millions)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Invest/ Stocks, Bonds (Investments, commodity trading)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Loss - Bankruptcy
- Vocation : Military : Military service (U.S. Air Force)
- Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ private
- Vocation : Writers : Fiction (Johnathan Livingstone Seagull)
- Vocation : Writers : Magazine/ newsletter (Tech writing on aircraft)
- Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor (Edited flight magazines)
- Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection