An American novelist, journalist, and political staffer, he is best known for his critically-acclaimed novella series, The Gay Place. As a journalist and editor, he worked for both the Texas Observer and Time magazine.
He graduated from the University of North Texas and subsequently worked as a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.
He was hired by Time magazine in 1960 to cover civil rights stories.
With his wife, Nadine Eckhardt, he had three children.
He was invited by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to join Johnson's staff.