Married; wife's name Ann (a city manager); children: Sara, Jesse.
Home—Trinity, NC. Office—The Center for Civil War Photography, P.O. Box 1740, Oldsmar, FL 34677.
Writer, former newspaper journalist, investigative reporter, and sportswriter covering NASCAR for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Roanoke Times, Roanoke, VA, and News & Record, Greensboro, NC. The Center for Civil War Photography, Oldsmar, FL, founder and president.
The Civil War in Depth: History in 3-D, two volumes, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1997–2000.
Mark Martin: Driven to Race, foreword by Mark Martin, David Bull Publishing (Phoenix, AZ), 1997.
(With Rusty Wallace) Rusty Wallace: The Decision to Win, David Bull Publishing (Phoenix, AZ), 1999.
(With Larry McReynolds) Larry McReynolds: My Life from Pit Road to the Broadcast Booth, David Bull Publishing (Phoenix, AZ), 2002.
Daytona 500: An Official History, David Bull Publishing (Phoenix, AZ), 2002.
The Blue and Gray in Black and White: A History of Civil War Photography, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2005.
(With John Beshears) Jacob's Run (novel), Whittler's Bench Press (Wilmington, NC), 2007.
Writer and journalist Bob Zeller spent many years covering motorsports and cowrote several books with racing greats, as well as a history of the Daytona 500. He is also a Civil War buff, whose particular interest is the preservation of that war's photographs. He is the cofounder and president of the Center for Civil War Photography and holds one of the largest private collections of Civil War photographs in America. Photographs from his collection have been exhibited at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
Zeller is author of the two-volume The Civil War in Depth: History in 3-D, a stereoscopic history of the war. Each volume includes a folding stereoscopic viewer with which the reader can get the full impact of the three-dimensional stereograms presented. The first volume contains a photograph of President Abraham Lincoln, taken ten days before his assassination. David Murray noted in the New York Times Book Review that the volume contains images of faces and scenes "from Fort Sumter to Appomattox, from drummer boys to Grant and McClellan."
The second volume contains many stereoview images from the Robin Stanford collection, and a number that are familiar to the readers of history books, but which were originally taken in the stereoscopic format. Images include a clothing catalogue, pamphlets, daguerreotypes, advertisements, maps, money, and other items from the period. Zeller does not limit his subjects to the war itself, but includes photographs of cities, camps, and twenty-four images that were hand-tinted with watercolors.
Zeller also wrote The Blue and Gray in Black and White: A History of Civil War Photography, a scholarly work that studies the art that was then in its infancy, detailing who took photographs during the war and why. Booklist reviewer Ray Olson noted that the volume includes a number of fine photographs, but added that the book's strength is in revealing with "well-written text" the emotions of the photographers as they captured the images of the soldiers and the battles.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2006, Jay Freeman, review of The Blue and Gray in Black and White: A History of Civil War Photography, p. 44.
Country Living, Tom Claire, review of The Civil War in Depth: History in 3-D, Volume II, p. 50.
Library Journal, August, 2000, Kathleen M. Conley, review of The Civil War in Depth, Volume II, p. 128.
New York Times Book Review, February 15, 1998, David Murray, review of The Civil War in Depth, Volume I.
Publishers Weekly, August 28, 2000, review of The Civil War in Depth, Volume II, p. 72.