Zita Ballinger Fletcher is a journalist and author in Europe. She was born in Los Angeles to Edward Lawton Nachtrieb and Noël-Marie Fletcher. She legally changed her last name from Nachtrieb to Fletcher at the age of 14. She was raised in the Southwest and spent time on the East and West coasts of the USA. She has lived in Germany and Switzerland.
She is of English and Irish descent. She is a blood relative of U.S. President George Washington as a direct descendant of Col. John Washington and Anne Pope Washington. She is the great-granddaughter of San Francisco business tycoon and civic leader Edward Willingham Arnold, a Stanford Law graduate who became an original founder and Chairman of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, one of America’s largest companies. Her great-grandmother, Annie Wickliffe Lowrie Arnold, was the niece of Revolutionary War hero Captain James Jack of Mecklenburg County and a member of the Lowrie and Wickliffe families, known for their civic achievements. Both Mr. and Mrs. Arnold had long family histories in the American South and roots in Great Britain. Zita also has strong family ties to the San Francisco community through her great-aunt Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong of UC Berkeley, America’s first female law professor, and her mother, a graduate of San Francisco State University School of Journalism.
Zita is also a member of the Aylett family of Virginia, early U.S. patriots who formed family ties with the Founding Fathers, and the Ballinger family from Gloucestershire England, who pioneered 10 states in the United States and made significant contributions to American law, journalism and social justice. She is also of Arabic-Spanish (Perea), Irish (Craighead, Lowrie, Day, Johnston, Jack) and German descent, with family ties to Swabia and Hannover.
Zita earned a Magna Cum Laude Honors Degree in Social Sciences, the study of people, from the University of South Florida in Tampa with special expertise in international relations, criminology and cybercrime. She loves foreign languages and cultures. She is fluent in German. Her other major language interest is Russian.
Zita has worked as a foreign correspondent and business journalist with multimedia focus. She credits her early interest in journalism, photography and videography to the example of her mother, Noël-Marie Fletcher, a foreign correspondent, professional photojournalist and multimedia expert with a track record of award-winning work.
Zita’s work reflects her interests in people, world cultures and languages. She seeks to bridge cultural divides and promote peace between people. Zita often designs and illustrates her own books. She writes using the pen name Zita Steele.
She enjoys hiking, sports, swimming and spending time outdoors. She likes classical music and plays the piano.