As a child, he loved sports above all else and could perform a standing back flip by the age of nine. His mother worried that reading nothing but sports books would stunt Bob’s intellectual growth, but his older brother assured her that he would eventually read books on other topics (he did). Little did any of them know that he also would write several books including a book about a baseball player and another about an athlete who competed in several sports. Listening to his father’s tales about growing up during the Depression, driving at the age of twelve to make deliveries for his father’s store, and other stories of the south side of Chicago planted the seeds for Bob’s later passion for storytelling.
Bob attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, became a teacher, received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later a Professor of Education at UW-Parkside and UW-Stevens Point. Shortly after becoming a professor, Bob realized that he liked making his students laugh more than he liked teaching them. He also recognized that what he wanted to next undertake was the challenge of simultaneously entertaining children and adults since this seemed limitlessly interesting and creative.
In 1982, Bob became a storyteller, juggler, and magician who began performing for children and families throughout the United States. In 1985, he realized that being a former teacher/professor turned entertainer, he had unique insights into the relationship between entertainment and education. Hence, he began teaching graduate classes and presenting keynotes and workshops for educators and nonprofit organizations on topics related to humor, storytelling, creativity, and motivation.
As a free-lancer for more than thirty years, Bob has developed many interests which have led him to produce storytelling tapes and write books for children, design curriculum for teachers, collect and write historical stories for nonprofit organizations, and apply his research skills as a consultant for social service agencies.
Bob believes it’s easier to climb the ladder of success when it’s lying flat on the ground. He usually can be found reading his favorite book on levitation. He simply can’t put it down.