Curt Gentry was born in Lamar, Colorado on June 13, 1931. During the Korean War, he served in the Air Force. He graduated from San Francisco State College. He wrote several books including Frame-Up: The Incredible Case of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, The Madams of San Francisco: An Irreverent History of the City by the Golden Gate, and J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. He and Vincent Bugliosi wrote Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, which won an Edgar Award for best fact crime book in 1975. He also wrote a novel entitled The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California. He died on July 10, 2014 at the age of 83.