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Robert Righter

1933 - Robert Righter at the 2006 John Muir Conference in Stockton, CA
  • Robert Righter is a historian, university professor, and author. He lives in Dallas, Texas, and in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, splitting his time between the two regions. Robert Righter has been a member of the Sierra Club for 37 years.
  • Dr. Righter's admiration of John Muir came at an early age. His parents spent time every summer in Yosemite, mainly Tuolumne Meadows. He soon was hiking the trails where Muir once sauntered. After graduation from college, he spend a number of years working for the Yosemite Park & Curry Company in both Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. When Linnie Marsh Wolfe's Pulitzer prize-winning biography of Muir appeared in 1946, Dr. Righter soon bought a copy and read it with great interest.
  • Dr. Righter says, "Aside from living a fascinating life, what particularly appeals to me about John Muir was his love of the Sierra Nevada and all of Nature. Beyond that, Muir's selfless ideals -- neither captivated by money or politics -- were attributes which were, and are, unique. Muir was a man who's beliefs could not be compromised by greed, money, or even power."
  • Dr. Righter received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has taught in universities in California, Wyoming, and Texas. Although trained as an American West historian, he has a particular research interest in environmental history. He is the author of six books on national parks and wind energy.
  • Righter's book, The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism (Oxford, 2005), gave him an opportunity to study and reacquaint himself with a man he has long admired. This re-immersion in Muir has not changed his impression. On the contrary, more than ever Righter believes Muir was dedicated to nature. Among Muir's many talents was a unique gift to interpret nature through his writings, which continue to inspire millions of Americans.

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