Richard Zelade was born on 25 May 1953 in Brazoria County, Texas, near Freeport. He was educated in the Brazosport Independent School District, graduating from Brazoswood High School in 1971. He received a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975, with honors and special honors in history. He attended the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin in 1975 and 1976.
His interest in nature and the outdoors began at an early age, with summers spent on the family farm in Missouri, family camping trips in Texas and other southern states, and lots of Boy Scout camping. By age 18, he had spent more than a year's worth of nights outdoors. An Eagle Scout, Zelade served on the staff at Camp Karankawa (near Sweeney) for several summer and winter sessions.
His most memorable outdoor experiences have been a 10-day canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area/Quetico Provincial Forest near Ely, MN, and a Christmas break camping trip in Guadalupe National Forest with scorching sun and drifting snow in the same day's hike.
Zelade began writing professionally in 1976. His work has appeared in Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Monthly, People, Southern Living, American Way, Women's Sport and Fitness, and many other publications. He is the author of several guidebooks, including Hill Country and Austin, published by Lone Star Press in Houston. He has also served as editor in chief of International Business magazine, Global Business Newsletter, and several other computer-industry magazines.
Zelade has a wide variety of outdoor interests. They include hiking, cycling, climbing, shooting, fishing, canoeing, hunting, and nature study. He has maintained a wildflower garden/lab in his Austin backyard since 1985. He cultivates and studies cactus and other Big Bend native plants in his wildlife-friendly, desert backyard habitat in Sanderson, Terrell County. Other interests include prairie and native grasses restoration efforts, as well as protecting and restoring the ranges of rare/endangered species.
A multidisciplinary historian, Zelade studies Texas geology, weather, geography, flora, fauna, and ethnic folkways, including the medicinal and food uses of native plants.
Zelade is married and has two children, Andrew and Samantha.
SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCE
Thirty years as Professional Writer/Editor and Publicist:
At present: INFORMATION SPECIALIST, State Fire Marshal's Office
2000: EXECUTIVE EDITOR, Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine and Press, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, Office.com
1998-99: EDITOR, Global Business Newsletter (formerly International Business). CONTRACTS MANAGER/MEDIA CONSULTANT (Program Specialist II), Texas Department of Health. Drew up and administered contracts for outsourced marketing and outreach campaigns (TV/video, radio, magazines, mass mailings) for various TDH programs (approximately $6 million annually). Helped these programs develop effective English-language and Spanish-language media campaigns. Provided other creative services as necessary (copywriting, translation, scriptwriting).
1995-97: EDITOR, New Media Productions, Austin. Editor of Access to Wang, and of International Business. Supervised small staff and production of two monthly magazines, including freelance assignments, writing, editing, design, production. Copy editor in CD production team.
1992-95: EDITOR, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, textbook publishers, Austin. Copyedited, proofread, fact checked biology, chemistry, math, health, science textbooks and ancillaries (CDs, videos, audio tapes, activity books) in English and Spanish.
1990-92: EDITOR, Data Base Publications, computer industry magazine publisher, Austin. Assistant Editor, Access to Wang; Associate Editor, Workstation News (1991 Computer Press Association award-winner for best computer magazine); Editor, UniReview. Participated in and supervised production of various monthly magazines, including freelance assignments, writing, editing, design, production.
Since 1981: VIOLET CROWN PRESS, Austin.
Since 1984: CONTRIBUTOR to Texas Monthly (National Magazine Award public-service story finalist, 1998).
1982-86: ASSOCIATE EDITOR, Third Coast magazine (Two-time NMA Award finalist for best publication)
1976-80: PARTNER, Yellow Rose Velo-Sport, a sports promotion and support services business. Organized cycling events, including training camps, national championships, one-day races, race series, and the Tour of Texas and 1980 Olympic Training Camp.
1980-82: CYCLING COLUMNIST (weekly), the Austin American-Statesman.
1977-78: PUBLIC INFORMATION SPECIALIST, Austin Association for Retarded Citizens.
1976-77 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, Free and Easy magazine.
1981: RIDING THROUGH CENTRAL TEXAS: 22 CYCLE EXCURSIONS, Violet Crown Press, Austin.
1984: HILL COUNTRY, Gulf Publishing, Houston. (now in fifth edition).
1985: AUSTIN, Gulf Publishing, Houston. (now in fifth edition).
1991 FOOD SERVICE MANAGEMENT, revised edition (vocational education textbook). The University of Texas at Austin, Division of Continuing Education.
CONTRIBUTOR TO/CO-AUTHOR OF:
1996 * COMO LA FLOR, a biography of Selena by Joe Nick Patoski, Little-Brown, NYC.
1984 * TASTES & TALES FROM TEXAS, a cookbook by Peg Hein. Hein & Associates, Austin. (in 9th printing).
1985 * THE BOOK OF TEXAS DAYS, by Ron Stone. Shearer Publishing, Fredericksburg, Tx.
1987 * TASTES & TALES FROM TEXAS, VOLUME II, by Peg Hein. Hein & Associates.
1988 * TEXAS: THE TEXAS MONTHLY GUIDEBOOK, 2nd ed. Texas Monthly Press. Author of Austin and Dallas chapters.
1992 * TEXAS: THE TEXAS MONTHLY GUIDEBOOK, 3rd ed., Gulf Publishing, Houston. Author of Austin and Hill Country chapters.
ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN:
THE ALCALDE, AMERICAN WAY, AUSTIN MAGAZINE, AUSTIN CITIZEN, AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, AUSTIN HOMES AND GARDENS, AUSTIN MONTHLY, METRO-SPORTS, THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, PEOPLE, PRIVATE CLUBS, PULSE: THE BRACKENRIDGE HOSPITAL NEWSLETTER, SOUTHERN LIVING, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, TABLES, TEXAS HIGHWAYS, TEXAS MONTHLY, TEXAS LIFE, TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE, TEXAS TIMES, TEXAS WIC NEWS, THIRD COAST, WOMEN'S SPORTS AND FITNESS
BACHELOR of ARTS, University of Texas at Austin, 1975. Honors and Special Honors in History. Minor in government (pre-law). Three semesters in Journalism. Honors thesis on causes of the Spanish Civil War. Most research material in Spanish.
One year at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, 1975-76.
Coursework in statistical analysis, planning, state and federal government. Research papers on US oil and gas policy, childhood diseases in Spain, legislative history of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, history of government aid to the arts. Wrote programs in SPSS.