David Oliver Relin was born in Rochester, New York on December 12, 1962. He graduated from Vassar College in 1985, and was later awarded a fellowship at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In the 1990s, he established himself as a journalist with an interest in telling stories about people in need including articles about child soldiers and about his travels in Vietnam. He was the co-author of Three Cups of Tea with Greg Mortenson, which was published in 2006. In 2011, basic facts in the book were questioned by author Jon Krakauer and the CBS News program 60 Minutes. 60 Minutes also discovered that Mortenson's charity was spending large amounts of money on Mortenson's personal expenses and to promote the book. This caused Relin to suffer both emotionally and financially. He did not speak publicly about the charges, but he hired a lawyer to defend himself in a federal lawsuit that accused the authors and the publisher of defrauding readers. The suit was dismissed in 2012. He suffered from depression and committed suicide on November 15, 2012 at the age of 49. His book Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives was published in 2013 after his death.