Robert Slater was born in New York City on October 1, 1943, and grew up in South Orange, New Jersey. He graduated from Columbia High School in 1962 and graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966, where he majored in political science. He received a Master's of Science degree in international relations from the London School of Economics in 1967. He worked for UPI and Time Magazine for many years, in both the United States and the Middle East.
Slater wrote 17 books about major business personalities before his new book on Martha Stewart: