Brad E. Steiger, 82, of Mason City, IA died Sunday, May 6, 2018 at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit.
Steiger was born as Eugene E. Olson on February 19, 1936 at the Fort Dodge Lutheran Hospital to Hazel and Erling “Link” Olson. He grew up as a typical farm boy in Bode, until a near-death farm accident changed his perspective on life at the age of eleven. This out of body experience eventually led him to research and write about all things “unexplained.”
He married Marilyn Ann Gjefle in 1956, with whom he had four children. He graduated from Luther College in 1957, and attended graduate school at the University of Iowa. He taught high school English in Clinton, Iowa before teaching Literature and Creative Writing at Luther College from 1963 to 1967.
His first book was published in 1965 while he was teaching, and he became a full-time writer by 1967. In the early 1970's, he penned a weekly newspaper column, “The Strange World of Brad Steiger” that was carried in 80 American newspapers and publications around the world.
Since then, he authored /co-authored over 170 books which have sold 17 million copies. He wrote many non-fiction books researching unexplained phenomena such as ghosts and U.F.O’s, as well as biographies on Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, and Rudolph Valentino - the latter of which was adapted as a film in 1977. Steiger was married to Sherry Hansen Steiger, an author and minister, from 1987 until the time of his death. Together they co-authored over 50 books, including a series on animal intelligence and miracles. They traveled around the world researching and lecturing, and appeared as guests on many radio shows including Coast to Coast AM, and television networks such as A&E and HBO.
Brad was known for his kind and caring demeanor, keen intellect, and quick wit. Even as his health was failing him in recent months, he made sure that no one left his room without a good laugh.
Brad is survived by his beloved soulmate, wife and partner, Sherry Steiger, sister June (Tom) Krull-Bonderman of Clear Lake, four children: Bryan Olson of CO, Steve (Melissa) Olson of New York, Kari (Daniele) Olson Fusaro of Italy, Julie (John) Tyree of AZ, and daughter by marriage Melissa (Brad) Schoneberg of Mason City; ten grandchildren: Cristina (Riccardo) & Erik Fusaro, Katie & Natalie Tyree, Maya & Lily Olson, Corissa & Cianna Olson, and Sophia & Olivia Schoneberg, two nephews: Kirk and Mike Krull and families, as well as numerous cousins.
A private family gathering will take place at a later date. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.majorericksonfuneralhome.com, and the family asks that memorial contributions be directed to the Animal Welfare Institute.