Robert Stiffler was born in Iowa and raised there where he worked on a farm. They had dairy cows, a horse and chickens plus all kinds of fruit and vegetables. After college he worked in sales in the printing industry.
After being called back into the Navy and sent to Virginia Beach, Virginia for two years he moved back to Iowa but returned to Virginia Beach in six months where he was in advertising for the Smith Douglass Company (fertilizers and chemicals for agriculture and horticulture) for 27 years.
He spent the last several years before retiring with Barker, Campbell & Farley, Virginia Beach's largest agency.
He started writing gardening news for the Virginian-Pilot in 1975 and has been doing that ever since.
Also see the Emily's interview