Stein, Robert 1933–

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STEIN, Robert 1933–

(Robert A. Stein)


Born August 5, 1933, in Duluth, MN; son of A.A. and Grace M. Stein; married Betty Lou Pavlik, 1955; children: Robert A. Jr., David K., Steven J. Education: University of Iowa, B.S.C., 1956, M.A. (counseling and education), 1968, M.A. (writing), 1986; attended U.S. Air Force Squadron Officers' School and U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College; Industrial College of the Armed Forces, graduated (with honors), 1973. Politics: Independent. Hobbies and other interests: Flying, reading, international travel, sports.


Home and Office—Iowa City, IA.


U.S. Air Force, career officer, 1956-77, serving as a pilot in Vietnam and France, retiring as colonel; University of Iowa, Iowa City, director of safety and security for university hospitals, 1977-85; Kirkwood Community College, Iowa City, member of writing faculty, 1984-89; Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Citizens Center, Iowa City, writing teacher, 1994—. Commercial pilot, 1957—.


Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Air Force Association (life member), Military Affairs Association (charter member), Iowa Authors Collection, Minnesota Authors Collection, Phi Delta Kappa, Iowa Lettermen's Club (president, 1978-79), Iowa Varsity Club (member of executive board, 1998-2005, 2006-09; president, 2002-03), Rotary International, Daedalians, Presidents Club of University of Iowa (life member), Alumni Association of University of Iowa (life member).


Military: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal/Vietnam, Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze battle stars, Gallantry Cross with palm/Vietnam, and Vietnam Campaign Medal with Service Bar. Other: International Literary Award, Manuscripts International, 1988, for the story "Death Defied."


Apollyon (novel), University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA), 1985.

The Chase (novel), University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA), 1988.

The Black Samaritan (novel), Commonwealth Publications (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1997, 2nd edition, Baker & Taylor, Replica Books (Bridgewater, NJ), 2000.

The Vengeance Equation (novel), Press-Tige Publications (Catskill, NY), 2000, 2nd edition, Baker & Taylor, Replica Books (Bridgewater, NJ), 2001.

Also author, with Paul Lippman, of screenplay The Vengeance Equation, 2001. Contributor of short stories and articles to periodicals, including Air Force Education Journal, Military, Iowa Transit, and Iowa Education Journal.


Robert Stein once told CA: "The primary motivation for my writing comes from inside, but for the most part is an unknown. Kurt Vonnegut (who visits here to read at Iowa's eminent Writers' Workshop) once told me, 'If you can work at something else, do that! If you must write, then you must.' I am compelled, feel I must write, have to get the action, thought sequences, metaphors, and similes onto the page.

"What a privilege to have had four mentors or motivators who are noted authors! They are David Morrell, 'father' of Rambo; Hank Searls, who wrote Jaws 2; W. Cotter Murray, who wrote Michael Joe: A Novel of Irish Life; and James Alan McPherson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Elbow Room. Each has had enormous, personal effect on my writing. Without their tutoring and patience and affection, being published would not have become a reality. Also very important are the writing programs at the University of Iowa: Expository Writing and the Writers' Workshop. To this day, their influences remain profound!

"Once the idea for a new novel takes on enough form to mold, I write a twenty- to thirty-page outline, one of perhaps 5,000 words. I then work from it and begin the first draft. I write from nine in the morning until I run out of gas, that being mid- to late-afternoon, seven days a week. After a first draft is finished, I do the essential set-aside, for at least sixty days. Then I rewrite the entire piece—and do it again—finally sending that work along to my editor.

"I try to create interesting, believable characters that share Midwest civility. I mean to put those characters at the center of misery and injustice, to have them struggle for the greater good, to make our world a better place."