Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America’s most respected authority on European travel. Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. As an 18-year-old, Rick began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started his business, Rick Steves’ Europe, which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a staff of 100 full-time, well-traveled employees at its headquarters in Edmonds, WA, near Seattle. There he produces a bestselling guidebook series on European travel, America’s most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, a weekly syndicated column, and free travel information available through his travel center and ricksteves.com. Rick Steves’ Europe also runs a successful European tour program organizing small-group tours that take more than 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. His mission: to empower Americans to take European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. When not on the road, Rick is active in his church and with advocacy groups focused on economic and social justice, drug policy reform, and ending hunger. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.