Coming 2024!

About The Author

The author or writing-partner on 14 books and thousands of newspaper columns, Bob Hill was born in Paterson, N.J. on Nov. 21, 1942, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Hill. One of five children, he attended elementary school in Singac and Little Falls New Jersey until the family moved to Sycamore in Northern Illinois in 1951.

He attended Sycamore (Illinois) High School, graduating in 1960. Played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. Was offered football scholarships from Northwestern and the University of Iowa. Attended Rice University in Houston Texas in 1960 on a basketball scholarship. Married Janet Hill, high school sweetheart, between his sophomore and junior year at Rice on August 25, 1962. Received a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1964.

Briefly  worked for Montgomery Ward in Houston suburb, then moved back to Illinois for a production control job at a newly opened Chrysler Corporation assembly plant in Belvidere where their daughter. Jennifer, was born on Sept. 26, 1966.

Wanting to get into journalism, Bob was hired as editor of his home-town bi-weekly newspapers - the Sycamore Sun Tribune and True Republican – where he quickly gravitated to column writing. Their son, Robb Hill, was born there Feb. 28, 1969.

After two years in Sycamore he moved on to the Rockford Morning Star in Rockford Illinois where he became a police reporter, feature writer and three-times-a-week columnist.  In June 1975, Bob was hired by the Louisville Times where he again worked as a reporter, feature writer and eventually a columnist for the late-great SCENE Magazine. In the late 1970s Bob switched over to the Courier-Journal as its Kentucky columnist for two years..

He returned to the Louisville Times in the early 1980s, eventually writing three columns a week, feature stories and a garden column. He also worked for several years for the Sunday Magazine.

In all, Bob worked 33 years for the Louisville Times and Courier Journal writing more than 4,000 columns and news and feature stories and winning many local, state and national writing awards. All of his work has been preserved at the Filson Historical Society.

Soon after retiring from the Courier-Journal in 2008 he was hired by David and Dan Jones to write stories about the people and land along Floyds Fork in preparation for their creating a 4,000-acre Parklands of Floyds Fork along the river.  That would lead to Bob working with David A. Jones on his biography.

In all Bob would write or help with 14 books on various subjects from basketball to murder to the Belle of Louisville to gardening. His latest, released in October 2023, was helping Louisville’s David Jones write “Always Moving Forward,” the story of his life and the creation of the Humana Corporation.

 

Bob’s  books are, roughly in chronological order:

1988 – “The Amazing Basketball Book” – a fun book of basketball history done with Randy Baron of Louisville, who specializes in books on bridge. COULD EASILY BE UPDATED.

1989 and 1992 – “The Fred Wiche Lawn and Garden Almanac” - Two editions of a garden book done with WHAS Garden Guru Fred Wiche that sold a total of 40,000 copies.

1991 – Old Friends - a 200-page compilation of more than 100 newspaper columns.

1994 - “Double Jeopardy – a William Morrow book with national distribution and publicity about a Louisville man, Mel Ignatow, who got away with murder. It sold about 20,000 copies in hard cover and paperback and got Bob a gig on Geraldo.

1996 – “Survivors – five stories of depression and manic-depression.” – This was a book done with Louisville resident Frank Marx and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance that includes five real-life stories of mental health issues.

1996 – “Louisville – a River Serenade” – a photographic look at Louisville done with photographer Dan Dry.

1997 – “Stone Walls and River Music” - a second compilation of more than 100 newspaper columns.

1999 – “Legendary Lady   – The Story of the Belle of Louisville” – a history of the Belle of Louisville.

2000 – “Crack of the Bat” – a history of the Louisville Slugger bat and Hillerich company.

2003 – “50th Anniversary of the WHAS Crusade – A book about the history of the WHAS Crusade for Children

2004 – Centre College Our Standard Sure – Centre Since 1819” – a book on the history of Centre College done with photographer Tom Hardin

2005 “150 Years – The YMCA of Greater Louisville “ a history of local YMCA facilities.

2012 – “A Landscape and It’s Legacy – The Parklands of Floyds Fork” – Many of the stories Bob had written about the people and places along the fork were incorporated in this book – along with hundreds of photos – as compiled and edited by Dianne Aprile.

2023 – “David A. Jones - Always Moving Forward” – the very full life story of David A. Jones and the founding of Humana.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Bob was part of two radio shows on WFPL public radio in Louisville. One was “On Good Authority” with Bob Schulman and Bonnie McCafferty. The  other was “Home Grown,” a gardening show Bob did with Jeneen Wiche, Fred Wiche’s daughter.

Along with his local writing awards, Bob was awarded the Ernie Pyle Legacy Award for lifetime achievement for helping to found the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, serving as board officer for six years. He also won several NSNC writing awards.

Along with working with David and Dan Jones for several years to document the creation of the Parklands of Floyds Fork, Bob was a ten year board member of The Waterfront Botanical Gardens, helping to create Louisville’s first botanical garden on a former landfill. He also worked to develop Origin Park along the Ohio River in Clarksville Indiana and the Paint Box Garden in Jeffersonville.

 

Family

Bob and Janet have been married 61 years, and operated Hidden Hill Nursery & Sculpture Garden on their eight-acre homesite in Utica Indiana for 19 years. Janet was a para-professional at Bridgepoint Elementary School in Jeffersonville and is active member of Wall Street United Methodist Church.

Jennifer Hill earned degrees from Barnard/Columbia in New York and MIT in Boston and was recently elected a state representative in Michigan.

Robb is a world traveler, excellent drummer, a frequent free-lance photo contributor to the Washington Post and teaches photography in the DC area.

Bob’s  future projects include working on a book of new and updated columns, and a children’s book about the value in helping others.

 

The Parklands of Floyds Fork: A generational legacy.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork. Click here for the full map.