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Richard B. Frank was born in Kansas in 1947. Upon graduation from the University of Missouri in 1969, he was commissioned in the United States Army, in which he served almost four years, including a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam as an aerorifle platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. In 1976, he completed studies at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. The following year he began research on his first book, Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Campaign, which was published in 1990. He lives in Annandale, Virginia.