Rich Buhler (17 July 1946 – 7 May 2012) was an American radio talk show host, evangelical Christian author, speaker, actor, pastor, preacher, and entrepreneur. He held honorary doctorates from Biola University and Trinity College of Graduate Studies. He is best known for his radio talk show, Talk from the Heart. He created www.truthorfiction.com. He died 7 May 2012 of causes relating to pancreatic cancer.
Buhler is the son of Henry Buhler and Genevieve Buhler. He was born in Cottonwood AZ, and given up for immediate adoption by his birth-mother. The identity of his biological father was known with some certainty, but never acknowledged. He grew up in Arizona and spent summers there after moving. He moved to Southern California at a young age, where he remained for the rest of his life. He attended Brethren Christian High School and Biola University where he received a scholarship to sing in the Biola Chorale.
Journalism and Radio
Buhler worked for the on campus radio while attending Biola University. After graduating at age 17, he got his first job as an office assistant at KFWB in Los Angeles. He worked his way up to journalist and eventually news editor.
In the 1970s, Buhler experienced a spiritual renewal and felt a calling to go into ministry like his father, Henry. Though he did not think seminary an option since he was unable to learn koine Greek. He did eventually become ordained and pastored a Foursquare Christian church for nine years.
Talk Show Host
In 1981, he left full-time ministry to start a radio talk show called Talk From the Heart on KBRT. He pitched the show to the station owner Don Crawford and, when no other suitable host could be found, became the host himself. The show was a quick and wide success, becoming syndicated all over the US and some of Canada.
Buhler wrote several books during this time and was an in-demand speaker at conferences, retreats, churches, and organizations.
He retired from full-time radio in 1996 and but returned briefly in 2008.
Buhler was the founder and president of Branches Communications an LA company that produced radio, TV, and film media for many years.
He also founded www.TruthOrFiction.com in 1999, which is now one of the top 75,000 websites in the world. The site builds on Buhler's interest (dating back to his radio days) in widespread rumors and "wow" stories.
He also published "The eRumor Report," a regular email update that keeps subscribers posted on the latest eRumors and virus warnings. He called it "Hoodwink Insurance." His TruthorFiction.com newspaper column was published weekly, including in the U.S. Armed Forces in Stars and Stripes. His weekly radio feature was aired on various stations throughout the U.S.
Rich won numerous honors for his work, including awards from Toastmasters International, The Southern California Motion Picture Council, Religion In Media, Biola University (Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree) and Trinity College (Honorary Doctor of Humanities).
Talk From the Heart
Buhler's nationally syndicated talk show was considered a sensation when it came on the air in 1981.
The idea was proposed for a drive-time talk show that openly and honestly discuss even difficult issues of emotional trauma, sexuality, and relational brokenness. The show's popularly grew quickly and it ushered in a new era in Christian Talk Radio.
- Love, No Strings Attached (1987, Thomas Nelson ISBN 0840776012)
- Pain and Pretending (1988, Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0840776276)
- New Choices, New Boundaries (1991, Thomas Nelson ISBN 0840774834)
- Be Good to Yourself (1994, Thomas Nelson ISBN 0840767870)
- Shame (Unpublished)
- The Stranger Who Belonged (Unpublished)