Larry Smith grew up on a farm south of Charlevoix near the area that became the setting for Smith's 1972 novel, The Original. After graduation from the University of Michigan with a degree in English in 1962, Smith began his newspaper career with The Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. He subsequently worked as a reporter and editor with five newspapers, including The New York Daily News and The New York Times. Smith says he was fortunate to discover the newspaper business at an early age because he was totally unsuited for anything else. He joined Parade Magazine in 1981, serving as managing editor there for 19 years before retiring in January 2001, when the magazine's circulation exceeded 32 million. His July 4, 2000 Parade article featuring nine Medal of Honor recipients led to Beyond Glory - Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words, published by W.W. Norton, in 2002. The book features first-person accounts by six Medal of Honor recipients from World War II, seven from Korea and 11 from Vietnam, including Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Admiral James Stockdale and former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska. The book led to his collaboration with Stephen Lang, and the rest is history. It was followed by From the Sands of two Jima to the Deserts of Iraq: The Few and The Proud - Marine Corps Drill Instructors in Their Own Words, a best-seller published in May of 2006 by W.W. Norton. Smith followed that with two Jima - World War Two Veterans Remember the Greatest Battle of the Pacific, published in 2008, which was also well received. Smith has run the New York City Marathon four times and climbed Mt. McKinley in Alaska and Mont Blanc in France, among other summits. He is a member of the Explorer's Club, and a former president of the Overseas Press Club of America. He and his wife Dorothea live on Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. They have two daughters, Stacey and Jennifer.