Ron Soodalter has pursued a variety of diverse careers. With a B.A. in American History and master's degrees in Education and American Folk Culture, he taught in various schools throughout New York State, and in New York City's Riker's Island Prison. He then worked as curator of a Colorado history museum, where he served on the Board of Directors of the 10-state Mountain-Plains Museums Conference. As a young teenager, Soodalter was fortunate to have studied Flamenco guitar with the world renowned Carlos Montoya, and has played professionally all his life. Also an accomplished scrimshaw artist, he has been featured in a prominent Manhattan art gallery.
A lifelong student and lover of folk music, Soodalter has collected traditional ballads in the United States, Ireland, and Scotland. He is also a dedicated collector of western memorabilia. His love of the west came to him through his grandfather, who was a cowboy in Colorado in the early part of the last century.
In addition to his two current books - Hanging Captain Gordon and The Slave Next Door - Soodalter has had over 250 articles published in such periodicals as the New York Times, Smithsonian, Civil War Times, Military History, New York Archives, American History, and True West, and is a columnist for America’s Civil War. He is the recipient of the International and Regional Magazine Association’s 2010 Gold Award and 2014 Award of Merit. Soodalter also travels extensively, lecturing on both American History and the modern-day slave trade.
Soodalter currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute and the Advisory Board of the S.S. Columbia Project, and is a member of the Western Writers of America and the Wild West History Association. He has two daughters, Jesse and Melora, a grandson, Bennett Lincoln, and a granddaughter, Nico Rose, and lives with his wife Jane in Cold Spring, New York.