Ron Wendt was raised on his family's homestead near Fairbanks and his father's mining claims in the Circle gold fields of eastern Alaska. He developed an early interest in Alaska history by exploring the ghost towns and mining camps and talking with old-timers from the gold rush era. He had worked as a gold miner, newspaper, reporter, photographer, college instructor, construction worker, and maintainance man. Wendt's articles and photos appeared in numerous publications. He owned Goldstream Publications of Wasilla, Alaska. Wendt passed away in 2008.