Michael Scanlon Sample was born in New Haven, Connecticut on July 4, 1947. He was educated at Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and then Trinity College in Connecticut. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He worked as a photographer and his primary subject was the state of Montana. He published his first Montana Calendar in 1974. He would go on to publish 43 more. He also contributed to numerous magazines and published several books including Montana on My Mind and The Anglers Guide to Montana. He co-founded Falcon Press, a publishing house specifically for western authors and artists. He died on June 19, 2014 at the age of 66.