Richard Bach (born June 23, 1936) is an American writer. He has authored numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970), Illusions (1977), One (1989), and Out of My Mind (1999). Most of his books have been semi-autobiographical, using actual or fictionalized events from his life to illustrate his philosophy.
Bach was born in Oak Park, Illinois to Roland Robert and Ruth Helen (Shaw) Bach. He attended Long Beach State College (now California State University, Long Beach) in 1955.
Bach was once an Air Force Reserve pilot, and he later became a barnstormer. Nearly all of his books involve flight in some way, from the early stories which are straightforwardly about flying aircraft to his later works in which flight is a philosophical metaphor. Bach had a huge success with Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a fable about a seagull who flew for the sake of flying rather than merely to catch food. Though his later books have not matched its popularity, his work has retained a dedicated fan base.
Many of his later books contain New Age philosophy.
Bach appeared online in the early 1990s in a section of his own at Compuserve, and answered all e-mails personally until he received too many to deal with. He also had his own website, which has since disappeared.
Bach had six children with his first wife, Bette, but they were divorced in 1970. His son Jonathan is a journalist, and he wrote a book about growing up without knowing Richard, and then meeting him as a college student (Richard gave his approval, although he noted that it included some personal history he'd "rather not see in print"). (see Above the Clouds: A Reunion of Father and Son by Jonathan Bach (1993) ISBN 0688117600)
His second wife was actress Leslie Parrish, whom he met during the shooting of the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull in 1973 and married in 1981; The Bridge Across Forever is based on their courtship. They are now divorced and he has since remarried.