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Richard J. King is the author of four books of nonfiction, most recently Ahab's Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby-Dick. He earned a PhD from the University of St. Andrews and is the author of a variety of popular and scholarly articles, reviews, and interviews in a range of magazines and academic journals. He has illustrated two children's books, What is a Sea Dog? and Women and the Sea and also Ruth! He writes and illustrates a quarterly column titled “Animals in Sea History” for Sea History magazine, was the Series Editor for "Seafaring America," and he co-edits the online reference "Searchable Sea Literature."

Rich has been sailing on tall ships for over twenty-five years, traveling throughout the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as both a teacher and a sailor. He is a visiting associate professor with the Sea Education Association (Woods Hole, MA), a lecturer at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA, and a research associate with the Literature Department at the University of California Santa Cruz and with the Coastal and Ocean Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport.

In 2007, he sailed alone across the Atlantic in a 28' sloop from Portland, Maine, to Lisbon, Portugal (he was aiming for Scotland). He lives in Santa Cruz, CA, with his spouse and child. Rich is represented by Russell Galen.