He was born Richard Louis Proenneke in Iowa in 1916, and died in California in 2003. He is most famous for living alone in the Alaskan wilderness for over 30 years. He wrote quite a lot in his journals, which he donated to the American National Park System. His cabin and the rest of his homestead are now preserved as a National Historic Site.
He joined the armed forces right after Pearl Harbor, but didn't serve very long due to a series of injuries and illnesses. However, he was a mechanical genius, so he had little problem making a living both in Iowa and in Alaska.
He was a key player in calling for wilderness preservation during the late 70s and early 80s. The subject of the rather popular PBS program "One Man's Wilderness", which features his own footage from 1974 and more recent footage (ca. 1998), he's become a somewhat famous figure.
I saw that program about Dick Proenneke again last week, which inspired me to start reading his journals. He was quite the fellow!