Phillip Margolin was born and educated in New York. He received a B.A. at the American University in Washington, D.C. in 1965 and a law degree from New York University School of Law in 1970. He spent 1965 to1967 in the Peace Corps in Liberia. He practiced criminal law in Portland, Oregon, until 1996,trying cases in circuit court, appeals court, and the United State Supreme Court. In 1996, he became a full-time writer, writing thriller novels and short stories. His books have appeared on the best seller list many times. Awards include an Edgar nomination for Heartstone. The Last Innocent Man was made into an HBO special.