Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling
Book Discussion
Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 5:30PM
King Library

Book Discussion

Author: Erica Wagner

Facilitated by: Richard Bock

Chief Engineer is the first full biography of a crucial figure in the American story, Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge.

One of America’s most iconic and recognizable structures, the Brooklyn Bridge is as much a part of New York as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Yet its distinguished builder is too often forgotten. His is the story of immigrants, the frontier, the Civil War, the making of the modern world, and a man whose long life modeled courage in the face of extraordinary adversity.

Chief Engineer is enriched by Roebling’s own eloquent voice, unveiled in his recently discovered memoir, previously thought lost to history. The memoir reveals that his father John, a renowned engineer who made his life in America after humble beginnings in Germany, was a tyrannical presence in Roebling’s life. It also documents Roebling’s time as a young man in the Union Army, when he built bridges that carried soldiers across rivers and saw action in pivotal battles from Antietam to Gettysburg. Safely returned, he married the remarkable Emily Warren, who would play a crucial role in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, by no means the only grand achievement of this Chief Engineer’s life.

About the Facilitator
Trained as an electrical engineer with the addition of an MBA, Mr. Richard Bock has worked many years in the computer field, selling hardware and software throughout the world at a time when much of this technology was new to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. As a certified aircraft flight instructor and ocean sailor, Richard has learned and experienced first-hand the pleasures of these adventures.  In addition, his experience in the U.S. Air Force fed his interest in military history.


There is no charge to attend.

Reservations are not required.

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Delve into some of the most intriguing and captivating tales in history and culture.

Seating is limited, please arrive early. For more information please call (561) 655-2766 or email

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