Waller died early Thursday morning at his home in Fredericksburg, Texas, due to complications of pneumonia and multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, his representatives confirmed to Variety.
Waller was born in 1939, in Rockford, Iowa, and went on to receive two degrees from the University of Northern Iowa (then known as Iowa State Teachers College). In 1968, he received his doctorate degree in business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington. Later that year, he returned to Iowa to teach management and economics, becoming a full professor by 1977.
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By 1992, Waller famously wrote “Bridges” in a mere 11 days. The novel chronicles the wandering National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid. He spends four days wooing Francesca Johnson,