The Life and Times of Raz, aka, John Rezell
Born and raised in Wisconsin, John Rezell has visited 44 states, lived in seven, and calls Oregon his home.
He began his newspaper career in high school, writing for the sports section of The Brookfield News.
While studying journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, he wrote for the student newspaper and worked for the Janesville Gazette.
Once out of college, he began a career of climbing up the newspaper ladder, beginning with smalltown journalism at the Jefferson County Daily Union in Fort Atkinson, WI where he was a do-it-all sports editor — writing, editing, layout pages and taking photos.
From there he crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa to work for the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. Continuing his Westward march, he spent the bulk of his newspaper career at The Orange County Register in Santa Ana, CA. There he created the weekly cycling column, as he focused on off-beat sports like beach volleyball, surfing, running — any assignment that might include bringing suntan lotion.
After a freelance career establishing himself as the premiere cycling journalist in the US, he became editor of VeloNews magazine. Later he started the e-magazine bike.com, and eventually came full circle back to newspapers as an outdoor columnist for The Register-Guard in Eugene, OR.
As a fifth-grade graduation present for his daughter Sierra's class, John created a multimedia Dream Presentation to inspire students to have dreams and goals in life. Since then he has delivered that presentation to more than 2,500 students.
In 2015, John published three ebooks.
Two of the books (Taken for a Ride and A More Simple Time: How Cycling Saved My Soul) chronicle his early days of covering bicycle racing, including his relationship with a young Lance Armstrong (Taken for a Ride).
The third book, You Can't Cook a Dead Crab and Eat It, is the life-changing story of how John and his wife Debbie decided to find the perfect place to raise their daughters. In 2005, they sold as much of their belongings as possible in an endless Moving Sale, packed the rest into storage and spent 85 days traveling 8,000 miles while living in a pop-up camper as they explored the American West in search of a place to call home.
John is working on his next book, based on his outdoors column he wrote for The Register-Guard that focuses on adventures in nature with his family in Oregon and many National Parks.
Raz with his first dog, Peanuts.
Raz the troublemaker
My future's so bright, I had to wear shades.