Rex Weyler

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Rex Weyler
Rex Weyler2.jpg
Born (1947-09-10) 10 September 1947 (age 71)
Denver, Colorado, United States
OccupationAuthor, Journalist, Ecologist
GenreEssays, News, Non-fiction

Rex Weyler (born September 10, 1947) is an American / Canadian author, journalist and ecologist. He has worked as a writer, editor, and publisher at newspapers and magazines, and occasionally as a commentator on Canadian television. In the 1970s, Weyler served as a director of the original Greenpeace Foundation, and as campaign photographer and publisher of the Greenpeace Chronicles. He was a cofounder of Greenpeace International in 1979.[1]

Weyler is the author of books on native rights (Blood of the Land), Greenpeace history (Greenpeace: The Inside Story) and religious commentary (The Jesus Sayings: A Quest for His Authentic Message). In the 1990s, he coauthored a U.S. patent for music tuning software and co-founded Justonic Tuning Inc. with his partner Bill Gannon, to develop and market the product.[2] He works as a freelance journalist, appearing in print, broadcast, and on the Internet.

Life and education[edit]

Weyler was born in Denver, Colorado, September 10, 1947, to Jack Richardson Weyler, a petroleum geologist, and Joanne (Goodwin) Weyler, both from Santa Barbara, California.

Weyler attended Herbert Hoover Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Rosco C. Hill Middle School in Denver, Colorado; and Robert E. Lee High School (Midland, Texas). He attended high school with future first lady Laura Welch Bush and future US Army General Tommy Franks. (See Tell Laura I Love Her for a memoir of Midland, Texas, c. 1963-66.[3]) Weyler graduated from Lee High School in 1966.

Weyler studied theoretical physics, mathematics, engineering, and history at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

In 1969, Weyler and 41 fellow students were suspended for a semester from Occidental College for staging a sit-in opposing U.S. military recruiters on the campus. The 42 students were charged with "disrupting the normal operating procedures of the college," and convicted by an administration-teacher-student discipline body. Weyler never returned to university, but traveled internationally and published his first book in 1969 with photographer David Totheroh, I Took a Walk Today, a pacifist discourse with photographs from a winter in California's Yosemite Valley.

Thirty-six years later, on April 5, 2005, the Urban Environmental Policy Center on the Occidental College campus awarded Weyler and Dennis Zane, a fellow student organizer, the Alumni Community Action Award[4] for their lifetime achievements in peace, ecology, and social justice.

Weyler has three siblings. He married Glenn Jonathans in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1971 and immigrated to Canada in 1972. Weyler and Jonathans divorced in 1980. Weyler married Lisa Gibbons[5] in 1991. They now live on Cortes Island B.C., Canada. Lisa Gibbons is an artist and special-needs youth educator. Weyler and Gibbons have 3 sons and are also foster parents, active in the BC Federation of Foster Parents.[6]


  • 1973 with the North Shore News in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, first as a photographer and reporter and later as Editor and Associate Publisher.
  • 1975 and 1980, Weyler co-founded and served as publisher and editor of the original Greenpeace Chronicles newspaper.[7] It was one of the first international environmental publications, with stories by writers Robert Hunter, Paul Watson, John C. Lilly, Kitty Tucker, Ben Metcalfe, and David Garrick, and art and cartoons by cartoonists Ralph Steadman[8] and Ron Cobb.
  • 1979 and 1982, Weyler served variously as publisher and writer for the Boston-based New Age Journal. He was prominent[9] among the editors and writers of Rick Fields's popular Zen-oriented self-help book Chop Wood, Carry Water: Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life (Tarcher, 1984).
  • 1998, Weyler and Joel Solomon formed a company to purchase and publish Shared Vision Magazine in Vancouver, B.C. Weyler served as publisher and editor until 2001. They sold the magazine in 2002 to Dragonfly Media. Weyler maintained his monthly column in Shared Vision until 2004 and as of 2008 serves as Editor-at-Large.[10]
  • 2007, Weyler founded the Institute for Citizen Journalism [11] to broaden input to international media.

As of 2007 Weyler appears regularly online in The Tyee.[12] He has appeared on CBC, BBC, Air America Radio, and other radio networks with commentary on ecology and current events. His stories and photographs have appeared in the Utne Reader, New York Times, National Geographic, The Liberal, and other journals.


Rex Weyler and Bob Hunter

Between 1973 and 1982, Weyler served as a director of the original Greenpeace Foundation, campaign photographer and reporter, and as editor of the Greenpeace Chronicles magazine. He was a co-founder of Greenpeace International in 1979.[1]

In 1975, Weyler sailed on the first Greenpeace whale campaign. His photographs and news accounts of the early campaigns appeared in National Geographic, Smithsonian, New York Times Magazine, and other publications worldwide. His photographs[13] recorded early whale and seal campaigns of Greenpeace.

He is the author of a history of the first decade of Greenpeace, Greenpeace: The Inside Story (Raincoast, Rodale, 2004).[14]

Since leaving Greenpeace in 1982, Weyler has remained active in environmental and peace issues. In 1991, he helped draft dioxin emission levels for pulp mills in British Columbia. In 2006, he served as Program Coordinator for World Peace Forum 2006.[15]

Weyler is featured in the documentary, Greenpeace: Making a Stand,[16] a history of Greenpeace, including a dramatic modern campaign in Argentina that preserved the forest homeland of the Wichi Indians, threatened by industrial soy plantations.

See Founders of Greenpeace,[17] a list of Characters[18] in the Greenpeace history, and the Chronology[19] of the founding of Greenpeace.

Books by Rex Weyler[edit]

  • Weyler, Rex (2008) The Jesus Sayings: A Quest for His Authentic Message (House of Anansi Press, 2008): a book about Jesus' message and his mission.
  • Weyler, Rex (2004) Greenpeace: The Inside Story (Raincoast Books, Rodale, 2004): the history of the founding of Greenpeace in Vancouver, Canada, and the first decade of the organization. Finalist, Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, 2004.
  • Weyler, Rex (2004) Greenpeace: An Insider's Account (UK);
  • Weyler, Rex (2004) Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World (US).
  • Weyler, Rex with Bill Gannon (1995) The Story of Harmony (Justonic Tuning Inc., 1995): The history of music technology, from Chinese bamboo to computer software, particularly the history of pure harmonic music, tempered keyboards, and computer solutions to the problem of pure, just intonation of harmony.
  • Weyler, Rex (1986) Song of the Whale (Doubleday, 1986): The whale research of Dr. Paul Spong, and the Greenpeace campaign to stop international whaling
  • Weyler, Rex with Rick Fields, Peggy Taylor, Rick Ingrasci (1984) Chop Wood, Carry Water: Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life (Tarcher); a book about the world's spiritual traditions applied to modern life.
  • Weyler, Rex (1982) Blood of the Land (Everest House, 1982; New Society Publishers, 1992): A history of the American Indian Movement and the Leonard Peltier case.
  • Weyler, Rex with Robert Hunter (1978) To Save a Whale, photographs and commentary from the early Greenpeace whale campaigns (Chronicle Books).
  • Weyler, Rex with Daphne Marlatt and Robert Minden (1975) Steveston Recollected, photographs and oral history of Japanese Community in British Columbia (UBC, Provincial Archives, out of print).
  • Weyler, Rex with David Totheroh (1969), I Took a Walk Today, anti-war commentary and nature photographs (1969, out of print)

Rex Weyler has made contributions to: The Power of the People, ed. Robert Cooney and Helen Michalowski (New Society Publishers, 1987); Beyond Hypnosis by Dr. Lee Pulos (Omega Press, San Francisco, 1990); Shorelines (Kingfisher Press, B.C., 1995); Witness, Twenty-five Years on the Environmental Front Line (Andre Deutsch, London, 1996); Greenpeace: Changing the World, ed. Conny Boettger, Fouad Hamdan (Rasch & Röhring, 2001); The Book of Letters: 150 Years of Private Canadian Correspondence, by Paul and Audrey Grescoe (Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2002).

Selected articles and essays[edit]

Film appearances[edit]

Greenpeace: Making a Stand (2006) television documentary adaptation of Weyler's book, Greenpeace: the Inside Story, following on a campaign in Argentina. Omni Films, Leigh Badgley producer; premiere on Global television, Canada, 2006.

Sharkwater, feature documentary by Rob Stewart, 2007; Rex Weyler appears as an environmental expert.

American Warriors, produced by Alison Maclean, Tomboy Productions, 2005; Weyler appears as an author of native American history, featuring his book Blood of the Land.

Icons of the Green Movement -- Greenpeace Co-Founder Rex Weyler, Petra Kelly's Legacy, Ralph Nader & Matt Gonzalez ; produced by Justice Vision and Democracy University, 2005.

Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson (2011): a documentary about early Greenpeace actions together with Paul Watson.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Finalist, Shaughnessy-Cohen Award for Political Writing; 2004.[20]
  • Publishers Weekly, "Best Books of 2004," Greenpeace: The Inside Story.[21]
  • Finalist, Hubert Evans Award for Non-Fiction, BC Book Awards, 2004.[22]
  • Alumni Community Action Award,[23] Urban Environmental Policy Center, Los Angeles, April 2005.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]