Joseph Henry Jackson was born in Madison, New Jersey on July 21, 1894, and received his schooling in the East. After World War I he moved to California and began his literary career. He was associate editor and managing editor of Sunset magazine from 1920-1926, and editor from 1926-1928. In 1929 he became literary editor of the San Francisco Argonaut, and in 1931 he joined the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle, also as literary editor. He gained a wide following with his daily book review column, "A Bookman's Notebook", and with his radio program, "The Reader's Guide", broadcast over NBC's Pacific network. In addition to his work on the Chronicle, he wrote a number of books, including Mexican Interlude(1936), Tintypes in Gold (1939), Anybody's Gold(1941), and My San Francisco (1953), and edited several more -notably Continent's End, a collection of California writing (1944), San Francisco Murders (1947) and The Western Gate: a San Francisco Reader (1952).