Alfred Runte was born on April 16, 1947, in Binghamton, New York, where he graduated North High School (1965) and the State University of New York at Binghamton (1969). He also holds an M.A. from Illinois State University (1971) and a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1976). Runte has taught at five major institutions of higher learning, including Baylor University and the University of Washington. Runte's work focuses on parks, conservation, and public transportation. His first book, National Parks: The American Experience (1979; revised 1987, 1997), has been praised by some as the definitive study of the national park idea. Recently, Runte completed a history of railroads and the environment: Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation. He is also advising Ken Burns on a forthcoming PBS series on the national parks.
2005 Mayoral campaign
Since the election, Runte has remained a popular figure among the neighborhood parks and environmental interests in Seattle. He spoke before a crowd of diverse neighborhood groups in early 2006 which marched on Woodland Park Zoo to protest the mayor's plans to build a parking garage in the middle of a city park.
2007 City Council campaign
Runte ran for Position 3 on the Seattle City Council, formerly held by Peter Steinbrueck who announced he would not run for a fourth term. Runte previously applied to fill Position 9 after it was made vacant in 2006, now held by Sally Clark.
Books by Al Runte
- Allies of the Earth: Railroads And the Soul of Preservation. 2006. ISBN 1-931112-52-5
- Trains of Discovery: Western Railroads and the National Parks. 1998. ISBN 1-57098-231-7
- National Parks: The American Experience. 1997. ISBN 0-8032-8963-4
- Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness. 1993. ISBN 0-8032-8941-3
- Public Lands, Public Heritage: The National Forest Idea. 1991. ISBN 0-911797-94-7
- Burlington Northern and the dedication of Mount St. Helens: New legacy of a proud tradition. 1982.
- Al Runte Seattle City Council campaign site
- Save Eastside rail line, The Seattle Times, November 9, 2006
- We've forgotten how to love our national parks, The Seattle Times, August 20, 2004
- Trains make America's beauty ours, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 16, 2006
- Leaders choose profits over parks, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 14, 2006
- Denied Tenure in '85, former UW professor fights on, The Seattle Times, July 24, 2004
- UW's Slide Is About More Than Money, The Seattle Times, March 20, 1998
- Al Runte For Mayor
- King County Voters' Guide on Al Runte
- Forget gas; we need a plan to keep passenger trains rolling by Al Runte in Seattle Times, May 30, 2006
- Al Runte bio at Center for the Study of the Environment
- Alfred Runte: Denied Tenure, Chronicle of Higher Education via History News Network
- The Disgruntled Professor, The Stranger, October 20, 2005
- Runte's campaign under the radar, Seattle Times, November 1, 2005
- One more may join mayoral race, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 23, 2005
- Neighborhoods unite to protest park moves, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 24, 2006
- A 3-minute campaign for City Council, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 13, 2006
- Runte seeks Steinbrueck's Seattle City Council seat, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Strange Bedfellows blog), May 16, 2007
- "2007 Candidate Filings". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-06-11. , King County Records and Elections
- Clark sworn in as newest City Council member, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 7, 2006