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About Rex

Biography

Rex Weyler is a journalist, writer, and ecologist. He was born in Denver, Colorado in 1947, went to high school in Midland, Texas, and later studied physics, mathematics, and history at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He worked as an apprentice engineer for Lockheed in 1967, but left engineering for a career in journalism. In 1969, he published his first book with photographer David Totheroh, a pacifist discourse with photographs from a winter in California’s Yosemite Valley.

Weyler married Glenn Jonathans in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1971 and immigrated to Canada in 1972. He worked at the North Shore News in North Vancouver and with Greenpeace. Between 1974 and 1982, he served as a director of Greenpeace, editor of the Greenpeace Chronicles magazine, and was a co-founder of Greenpeace International. He sailed on the first Greenpeace whale campaign, and his photographs and news accounts of Greenpeace appeared worldwide.

 

Cameraman Ron Precious and photographer Rex Weyler on board the James Bay, Greenpeace VII, in 1976, mid-Pacific. Photo by Matt Herron.

Weyler’s photography and essays have been published in the New York Times, Oceans, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, New Age Journal, Conscious Choice, New Times, Shared Vision, National Geographic, and other publications. Weyler received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his Native American history, Blood of the Land, and he co-authored the self-help classic Chop Wood, Carry Water. He co-founded Hollyhock Educational Centre on Cortes Island in British Columbia – dedicated to environmental, personal, and professional studies – and which remains Canada’s leading educational retreat centre. He co-developed the Justonic tuning software used by innovative musicians around the world and wrote The Story of Harmony about the history of musical tuning theory. His account of the first decade of Greenpeace is available in September 2004 from Raincoast Books in the Canada and Rodale Press in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Weyler was married for the second time in 1990, to Lisa Gibbons. He remains active in environmental work. He writes for magazines and newspapers, is widely reprinted on the Internet, and appears weekly on Canada’s Omni-10 News show, The Standard. He lives in Vancouver, BC, and has three sons: Jack, Jonah, and Liam.

Weyler and his wife, Lisa Gibbons, are foster parents for displaced teens. Weyler serves on several company and non-profit boards, including Greenpeace International Marine Services. He speaks regularly to schools and public audiences. For correspondence and bookings: Contacts.

Data and publishing history

Born: September 10, 1947, Denver, Colorado.

Childhood: Worland, Wyoming; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Denver, Colorado; Midland, Texas.
Denver, Colorado: on city champions, Hill Jr. High Knights, basketball team
Midland, Texas: Honors physics and math student; played basketball and ran the mile on the track team at Robert E. Lee High School. For a story about life in Midland in the 1960s and attending school with future first lady Laura (Welch) Bush (see “Tell Laura I Love Her”). Graduated high school 1966.

Education: Physic student at Occidental College, Eagle Rock, California, 1966-69. Worked for Lockheed Aircraft, Sunnyvale, California. Discovered the Beat writers at City Lights Book Store in San Francisco Joined the “Resistance,” Vietnam War draft resisters movement. Left engineering and school to pursue journalism.

Travel, 1969-71: North America, Europe, Middle East (Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan), India, Nepal, and by boat around the Black Sea.

Married: Glenn Jonathans, Nijmegen, Netherlands, December 7, 1971. Divorced, 1984.

Married: Lisa Gibbons, Cortes Island, British Columbia, September 8, 1990.

Children: Three boys, Jack, born 1986; Jonah, born 1991; Liam, born 1993.

 

Rex Weyler 2004. Photo by Ken Villeneuve.

Journalism, writing career:

1969: Published his first book, I Took A Walk Today, a pacifist discourse with photographs from a winter in California’s Yosemite Valley.

1972: Immigrated to Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia.

1972-73: Photographer, University of British Columbia, Reynoldston Research, BC History, Sound Heritage Series.

1975: Steveston Recollected, with Daphne Marlatt and Robert Minden, photographs and oral history of Japanese fishing community in British Columbia (University of British Columbia, Provincial Archives, 1975).

1973-75: Journalist, North Shore News, North Vancouver, B.C., Canada

1975-79: Freelance journalist. Director of Greenpeace Foundation; editor and publisher of the Greenpeace Chronicles, Vancouver, B.C. In 1979, Weyler won a Columbia School of Journalism Award for breaking one of the “Top Ten Censored Stories,” for “Rio Puerto: The Largest Radioactive Spill in U.S. History.”

1978: To Save a Whale, Greenpeace photographs, Chronicle Books (Heinemann, UK, 1978; Kubler Verlag, Germany, Rettet die Wale, 1979). With text by Robert Hunter and preface by Dr. Paul Spong.

1980-1982: Publisher, writer, New Age Journal, Brookline, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

1982: Blood of the Land, Everest House, a history of Native American clash with European cultures, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1982. (Random House, Vintage paperback,

1983; updated, New Society Publishers, 1992).

1984: Co-author, Chop Wood, Carry Water: a Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life (J.P. Tarcher, remains in print; Le Jour, French tape edition, 1990): A human potential classic with Rick Fields, Peggy Taylor, and Rick Ingrasci, writers for New Age Journal in the 1980s.

1986: Song of the Whale, Doubleday: The discoveries of whale researcher Dr. Paul Spong and the international campaign to stop whaling.

1982-1994: Executive Director of Hollyhock Educational Centre, Cortes Island, Canada. Freelance journalism, essays.

1989: Screen play, Earth Stringer, for Magic Lantern Productions, Hollywood, California.

1993: “Seafood and Pulp Mills,” research and legislative recommendations, B.C. Shellfish Growers Association.

1995: The Story of Harmony (Justonic Tuning Inc.): The discovery and meaning of harmony; music theory and technology through the ages, bone flutes to software synthesizers.

1998-2001: Publisher, editor, Shared Vision magazine, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

2004: Greenpeace: How a Group of Journalists, Ecologists and Visionaries Changed the World, (Raincoast Books, Rodale Press, Pan-Macmillan).

Currently: Rex Weyler is a freelance journalist, Editor-at-large with Shared Vision Magazine, appears weekly on Canada’s Omni-10 News show, The Standard.

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