Robert Brown Parker was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1932. He received a B.A. from Colby College in 1954, served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and then returned to receive a M. A. in English literature from Boston University in 1957. He received a Ph.D. in English literature from Boston University in 1971. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1979, he taught at Lowell State College, Bridgewater State College and Northwestern University. In 1971, Parker published The Godwuff Manuscript, as homage to Raymond Chandler.