A twentieth-century American author, he is best known for his Gor books, which combine philosophy, erotica, and science fiction. Also an academic, he taught philosophy at Queens College of the City University of New York.
He earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1963. He had previously received degrees from both the University of Nebraska and the University of Southern California.
His books sold nearly twelve million copies during his lifetime.
He grew up in Chicago, Illinois. In 1956, he married Bernice L. Green, with whom he raised three children.
He was influenced by the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs.