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'Bridges of Madison County' Author Robert James Waller Dies

robert james waller
Courtesy of Scott Cawelti
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Iowa-born author Robert James Waller has died in Texas at the age of 77. He wrote “The Bridges of Madison County,” which topped the New York Times bestseller list in 1993.

The book was turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Waller wrote the novel, which was his first, after photographing covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa.

Scott Cawelti, a longtime friend of Waller, said he died of complications related to cancer. 

Waller was a professor and the founding dean of the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Business Administration. He earned two degrees at UNI and was a starter on the basketball team.

He later donated the original manuscript of his famous novel to UNI. 

Waller was born in Rockford, Iowa.