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Richard David Bach (born 23 June 1936) is an American writer. He is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, and others. His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance. He claims to be a direct descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is noted for his love of flying and for his books related to air flight and flying in a metaphorical context. He has pursued flying as a hobby since the age of 17.