I was born in 1946, in Salem, Massachusetts, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Central High School of Philadelphia in January 1964 and earned a degree in Journalism from Temple University in 1972.
My road to writing military history began at age twelve, when I was stuck in bed for a week with a childhood illness. My father bought me the first paperback book I ever owned, Walter Lord’s Day of Infamy. As I devoured the book, I realized that I wanted to write books exactly like it — what we now call popular narrative history. Lord had pieced together the book from official records illuminated with the recollections of people who were there.
I began to write my first military history book when I was fifteen. It eventually turned out to be Guadalcanal: Starvation Island. I completed the first draft before I graduated from high school. During my first year of college, I wrote the first draft of Munda Trail, and I got started on 76 Hours when I was a college junior. Then I got married and went to work, which left me no time to pursue my writing except as a journalism student. I quit school at the end of my junior year and went to work in advertising in 1970. I completed my journalism degree in 1972, moved to California in 1975, and finally got back to writing while I operated my own one-man ad agency and started on a family.
76 Hours was published in 1980, and Chosin followed in 1982. At the end of 1983 I was offered enough of an advance to write The Root: The Marines in Beirut to take up writing books full time. The rest, as they say, is history. I eventually published under my own imprint, Pacifica Press, which morphed into Pacifica Military History.
At some point in the late 1990s, I realized I had not written in five years, so I pretty much closed down the publishing operation and pieced together a string of pictorial combat histories for Zenith Press. I “retired” in 2008 and took up writing as a full-time hobby. And here we are. Now I am publishing new narrative military history under the Pacifica Military History imprint and fiction and non-military history under the IPS Books imprint. I have also reprinted older books as print-on-demand trade paperbacks, and I have converted nearly all of my books to digital format for sale under Amazon.com’s Kindle program and other e-book programs.