Steven Naifeh was born in Tehran, Iran, June 19, 1952, to parents in the U.S. Diplomatic Service. He attended Princeton University receiving an A.B. summa cum laude in American History, Harvard Law School receiving a J.D., Harvard Graduate School of School of Arts and Sciences, receiving both an M.A. and a PhD, and University of South Carolina receiving a Ph.D. in Humane Letters. Naifeh co-authored, with Gregory White Smith, Jackson Pollock: An American Saga which received the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1991 and was a finalist for National Book Award Nonfiction in 1990. He and Smith also co-authored Final Justice which was an Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist in Fact Crime in 1994. Naifeh's other books include Culture Making (Princeton University Press, 1978); Gene Davis (The Arts Publisher, 1982); New York Times bestsellers, The Mormon Murders (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988) and, with Phil Donahue, The Human Animal (Simon & Schuster, 1985); and Vincent van Gogh, with Gregory White Smith (Random House, 2011).
Gregory White Smith was born in Ithaca, New York on October 4, 1951. He received a degree in English literature from Colby College in 1973 and a law degree from Harvard University in 1977. He worked in San Francisco for Morrison & Foerster, where he was quickly assigned the task of editing the writing of other lawyers. He quit after two months because he wanted to write things that numerous people would read. He wrote more than 15 books with his spouse and co-author Steven Naifeh. They won the Pulitzer Prize in biography for Jackson Pollock: An American Saga. There other works include Moving Up in Style: The Successful Man's Guide to Impeccable Taste, The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit and Death, Making Miracles Happen, and Van Gogh: The Life. He also partnered with Naifeh to launch businesses connecting consumers with top legal and medical services. They published The Best Lawyers in America and The Best Doctors in America. He died from hemangiopericytoma, a rare and aggressive brain tumor, on April 10, 2014 at the age of 62.