Meet Oregon Author, Columnist & Teacher Bob Welch


Bob Welch of Eugene is a speaker, author, award-winning columnist and teacher and will be the speaker Saturday at Umatilla Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting.

As head of Pebble in the Water Inspiration, Welch has keynoted conferences, workshops and retreats across America, tugging at hearts, tickling funny bones, and inspiring people to be ripples on life’s waters.

Among his speaking highlights was being asked to keynote the dedication ceremony at the Massachusetts Statehouse for a plaque honoring WWII nurse Frances Slanger. It was Welch’s book about Slanger, American Nightingale, that convinced legislators to honor the Boston nurse.

A storyteller by nature, Welch mines much of his speaking fodder from the 21 books he’s authored and the nearly 2,000 columns he’s written for The Register-Guard, Oregon’s second-largest newspaper, since 1999. He has twice won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ highest award for writing.

San Diego author Mike Yorkey calls Welch “the most eclectic writer in America” because the Oregon author has written World War II and children’s books, hiking books and collections of columns, books inspired by his favorite movies and plays and books about fathers and sons, sports and military nurses.

His book about a heroic World War II nurse, American Nightingale (Atria Books, 2004), was featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. A follow-up book, Pebble in the Water (AO Creative, 2008), amplifies the author’s American Nightingale experience from an idea written on a Wendy’s napkin to the four years it took before the book was published.

He and his wife, Sally, live in Eugene, where he is an associate editor at The Register-Guard and a former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon.

Visit for more information about Welch.