Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Bernie has lived there most of his life. He grew up in the era when you had to take a ferry to get from the Upper to the Lower Peninsula. Homes were heated by coal, and soot made the snow on the ground gray.
Graduating with a mathematics degree from M.I.T. in 1962, he then taught math and physics in Northern Nigeria for two years in the early sixties before moving back to the US and teaching high school math in Maine for two more years.
After receiving a Ph.D. in math from the University of Wyoming, he spent most of his career teaching mathematics at Lake Superior State University in the Sault, but became interested in area history along the way.
His first book was written about the history of Sugar Island, an island in the St. Marys River, where his parents both taught in one-room schoolhouses, and has written several other local history books in his retirement.
“I enjoy showing how geography has shaped our local history, with the St. Marys River being the dominant example of this, and to a lesser extent our location on the border with Canada.”