Otto Friedrich was born in Boston and grew up in New York. He graduated magna cum laude as a history major from Harvard, where his father was a political science professor. He began his writing career in Europe at Stars and Stripes and United Press. Returning to the USA, he got jobs at The Daily News and Newsweek in New York. The seven years he spent with The Saturday Evening Post, including four as its last managing editor, established Otto Friedrich as a leading writer. When the Post folded in 1969, Friedrich wrote a book about it, 'Decline and Fall," which was published the following year. The book won a George Polk Memorial Award and is still considered a classic of journalism and business. Friedrich then began to write novels, and created a series of children's books with his wife, Priscilla Broughton. He also wrote elegant histories, biographies and other acclaimed works of nonfiction, turning out an average of one book every two years, as well as numerous freelance articles and book reviews. All this substantive work was done at night while Friedrich held a full-time day job with Time Magazine, which he joined as a senior editor in 1971. He retired from the magazine in 1990.