E. B. Sledge was born in Mobile, Alabama. In late 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was then sent to the Pacific where he fought at Peleliu and Okinawa. After returning from the war he immediately began working on a book based on the notes he had taken while posted in the Pacific theatre, which became With the Old Breed. Sledge joined the biology faculty of Alabama College, where he taught until his retirement. Sledge died on March 3rd, 2001.