Richard Nelson Bolles

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Richard Nelson Bolles (born March 19, 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is a former Episcopal clergyman, and the author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute?

Early life[edit]

Richard Nelson Bolles is the brother of investigative journalist Don Bolles, and Ann Bolles Johnson. His paternal grandfather, Stephen Bolles, was a U.S. member of Congress from Wisconsin (died 1941), and his father was for many years an editor with the Associated Press (died 1972).[citation needed] He grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey,[1] and graduated from Teaneck High School in 1945, where his yearbook described him stating "Dick's future will be scientific / But in which field he's not specific."[2] After a brief stint in the United States Navy, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying chemical engineering, and Harvard University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Physics, cum laude. He attended General Theological Seminary (Episcopal) in New York City, from which he graduated with a master's degree in the New Testament.[citation needed]


After ordination, Bolles served as a Fellow and Tutor at the Seminary, and then served churches in New Jersey. Following this, he served as Canon Pastor of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He also served on the National Staff of United Ministries in Higher Education for a number of years.[citation needed]

Bolles makes public speaking appearances and used to lead workshops around the United States. He releases an updated edition of his main Parachute book every year, as well as working on new titles. The latest title is "The Job-Hunter's Survival Guide", a short 100 page book. He has had various co-authors for some of his other books, including Howard Figler, Carol Christen, Dale Brown, and one of his sons, Mark Bolles. Mark is the principal author of their book Job Hunting on the Internet ISBN 1-58008-652-7. He is also a member of high-IQ society Mensa.[3]


Bolles was the 2006 recipient of the National Samaritan award, joining such prestigious company as Karl Menninger, Peter Drucker, Norman Vincent Peale, Betty Ford, and Sir John Templeton. The Library of Congress in 1996 named his book as one of 25 that have shaped readers' lives.[citation needed] His book has appeared on The New York Times best-seller list (paperback non-fiction) a total of 288 weeks.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Bolles lives in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area and was married in 2004 to the former Marciana Garcia Mendoza Navarrete, who is from Cavite in the Philippines.[4] He has four children by a previous marriage, and his wife has two.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Staff. "MONDAY PROFILE, PARACHUTE AUTHOR STILL HAS PASSION FOR WRITING", Contra Costa Times, December 26, 2005. Accessed September 13, 2011. "Bolles credits his father for his boundless energy and his mother for his kindness. 'I was raised by the grandest parents in the world in Teaneck, NJ', he said."
  2. ^ Teaneck High School Hi-Way 1945 yearbook, p. 87.
  3. ^ "Prominent Mensans". Mensa International. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  4. ^ see dedication for his 2009 edition of What Color is Your Parachute

External links[edit]