Mark Pendergrast was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, the fourth of seven children in a family that valued civil rights, the environment, sailing, reading, and games of chase and charades. He earned a B.A. in English literature from Harvard, taught high school and elementary school, then went back to Simmons College for a masters in library science and worked as an academic librarian—all the while writing freelance articles for newspapers and magazines. In 1991, he began writing books full time, which allows him to follow his rather eclectic interests.
Pendergrast’s books have been published in 15 languages. For God, Country & Coca-Cola was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, and Discover Magazine chose Mirror Mirror as one of the top science books of the year. Pendergrast has given speeches to professional groups, business associations, and college audiences in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and Germany. He has appeared on dozens of television shows, including the Today Show, CBS This Morning, and CNN, and has been interviewed on over 100 radio programs, including All Things Considered, Marketplace, and many other public radio shows. He lives in Colchester, Vermont.