Bill Petersen was born in Baraboo, Wis., but grew up in Whitehall. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He began working in the Archives and Local History Department of the La Crosse Public Library during his senior year at UW-L, and that led to a 34-year career as an archives librarian. He has a passion for nature photography and also enjoys music and cooking as well as coaching the Green Bay Packers each Sunday with his father-in-law. He is utterly devoted to his beautiful wife, Elaine, and loves being a Bonus Dad for Elaine's lovely 9-year-old daughter, Rosemary, with whom he has graduate student-level discussions about My Little Pony, Animal Jam and the national parks.

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