Steven Kroll was born in Manhattan, New York on August 11, 1941. After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in American history and literature in 1962, he worked as an editor of books for adults in London, England, and New York City. In the early 1970s, a children's book editor urged him to try his hand at writing for children, and he began what would become his career. His first picture book, Is Milton Missing?, was published in 1975. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 95 picture books, chapter books, and young adult novels including The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, Jungle Bullies, That Makes Me Mad, Sweet America, Pooch on the Loose, and When I Dream of Heaven. He died from complications of gastrointestinal surgery on March 8, 2011 at the age of 69.