Robert James Waller grew up in Rockford, Iowa, 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. He taught management, economics, and applied mathematics courses at the University of Northern Iowa from 1968 to 1991. He worked for over twenty years as a musician (guitar, flute, singer/songwriter) playing nightclubs and concerts, and is a serious photographer. Waller has published a total of seven novels, with sales of over 17 million copies. Among his publications is the best-selling novel, The Bridges of Madison County, with 12 million copies in print in forty-plus languages, and which was adapted into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and a Broadway musical. Robert lives on a small farm in the Texas Hill Country and pursues his various interests, including economics, mathematics, writing, and music.