Richard H. Zeitlin was born in New York City in 1945. He did his undergraduate work at Queens College and earned both a master's degree and a doctorate in history at the University of Wisconsin, the latter in 1973. He worked for Old World Wisconsin, the State Historical Society's outdoor ethnic musuem, between 1973 and 1977. He served as director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum on Madison's Capitol Square until his death in December of 2008. He is the author of "Germans in Wisconsin," published by the Society in 1977.