Andrew Turnbull was born and spent his early years in Baltimore, He graduated from Princeton in 1942 and earned his Ph. D in European history from Harvard in 1954. During the Second World War he served as a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy. After the war he worked in Paris for several years and returned to America to enter the Harvard Graduate School. From 1954 to 1958 he was an instructor in the humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then turned his attention to writing, until his death in 1970.