Don Winslow was born in New York City on October 31, 1953. He received a degree in African history from the University of Nebraska. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a movie theater manager, private investigator, safari guide, actor, theater director and consultant. His works include A Cool Breeze on the Underground, The Death and Life of Bobby Z, The Winter of Frankie Machine, Savages, and the Neal Carey Mysteries series. His novel California Fire and Life won the Shamus Award. He has also written for film and television.