Stephen L. Carter was born in Washington, D.C. on October 26, 1954. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Stanford University in 1976 and a law degree from Yale University in 1979. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 1982, he joined the Yale University faculty and is currently the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law. He is the author of numerous non-fiction works including Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (1991); The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion (1993); The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning Up the Federal Appointments Process (1994); Integrity (1996); The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty (1998); Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy (1998); and God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics (2000). He has also written several fiction works including The Emperor of Ocean Park and Jericho's Fall. He was the first non-theologian to receive the prestigious Louisville-Grawemeyer Award in religion.