Robert Lee Fulghum (born June 4, 1937) is an American author, primarily of short essays.
He has worked as a Unitarian Universalist minister (at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship in Bellingham, Washington from 1960–64, and the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church in Edmonds, Washington amongst other communities well into the 1980s).
During this same period he taught drawing, painting, and philosophy at the Lakeside School in Seattle. Fulghum is an accomplished painter and sculptor. He sings, and plays the guitar and mando-cello. He was a founding member of the authors' collective rock-and-roll band, "Rock Bottom Remainders". Previous to his professional careers, he also worked as a ditch-digger, newspaper carrier, ranch hand, salesman for IBM, and singing cowboy. He grew up in Waco, Texas.
He came to prominence in the US when his first collection, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1988), stayed on the New York Times bestseller lists for nearly two years. Throughout this collection, subtitled "Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things," Fulghum expounds his down-home philosophy of seeing the world through the eyes of a child.
There are currently more than 16 million copies of his books in print, published in 27 languages in 103 countries. His prose style is very simple and direct, and finds life-affirming maxims in such mundane matters as zoos, leaf-raking and dusting.
Fulghum has performed in two television adaptations of his work for PBS, and is a Grammy nominee for the spoken word award. He has been a speaker at numerous colleges, conventions, and public events across the United States and Europe. He has been a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist.