Stephen Gardner Birmingham was born in Andover, Connecticut on May 28, 1929. He received a degree in English from Williams College in 1950. Before becoming an author, he worked as an advertising copywriter in New York for Needham Harper Steers. His non-fiction books included Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York, The Right People: A Portrait of the American Social Establishment, The Grandees: America's Sephardic Elite, The Rest of Us: The Rise of America's Eastern European Jews, Certain People: America's Black Elite, Real Lace: America's Irish Rich, and Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address. He also wrote nine novels including Young Mr. Keefe. He died from cancer on November 15, 2015 at the age of 86.