Born in 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, Stephen R. Donaldson lived in India (where his father was a medical missionary) until 1963. He graduated from the College of Wooster (Ohio) in 1968, served two years as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, doing hospital work in Akron, then attended Kent State University, where he received his M.A. in English in 1971.
After dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first "Covenant" trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.
The novels for which he is best known have received a number of awards. However, the achievements of which he is most proud are the ones that seemed the most unlikely. In 1994 he gained a black belt in Shotokan karate from Sensei Mike Heister and Anshin Personal Defense; and in 2009 he was awarded a Doctor of Literature (Litt.D) degree from the School of Divinity of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
After spending seven years on his five book Gap sequence of science fiction novels, Donaldson published a second collection of short stories and a fourth mystery novel. He then put 12 years into writing "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant." His most recent book since completing the "Covenant" epic is "THE KING'S JUSTICE: Two Novellas." And he keeps on writing.