Sarah B. Pomeroy was born in New York City and graduated from Barnard College. She earned her M.A. degree and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She studied Roman law at Columbia in 1962-1963. She taught classics at the University of Texas at Austin in 1961-1962, at Hunter College in 1964-1965, and at Brooklyn College in 1967-1968. She then returned to Hunter College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, where she was named a professor of classics. She became a leading authority on the lives of women in classical Greece and Rome after the publication of her first and most famous book, entitled Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity, in 1975. Her 2002 book Spartan Women was the first full-length study of the subject.