Ron Ziel is an internationally known authority on railroad history, having published 15 books on the subject. He has photographed steam trains in 54 countries with more than 25,000 pictures to his credit. At the peak of the Cold War he spent much time behind the Iron Curtain photographing steam power and being arrested for espionage! He grew up on Long Island, New York, and graduated from the Pratt Institute Art School with a BFA degree in advertising design, in 1961, then served as an officer in the US Army. In addition to his extensive railway interest, Ziel has been a newspaper and magazine editor and has been involved in civic affairs, including being a transportation adviser to five levels of government. He has also written a comprehensive, illustrated history of the Spanish-American War (“Birth of the American Century”) which has been hailed as “by far the best book” on that subject. He has written an epic historical novel, in which Theodore Roosevelt is one of the lead characters. In 2005 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and married Helen, the widow of his late co-author, George Foster.