A PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award-winning writer, he most famously penned About Schmidt, a 1996 novel that was adapted into a 2002 film starring
After graduating from Harvard Law School, he worked for Debevoise & Plimpton, a New York law firm.
He was a National Book Award finalist.
He was born in the Polish Republic to a Jewish family. He and his parents successfully escaped the Nazis by moving first to France and later to the United States. Begley married Anka Muhlstein in 1974.
He wrote a biography of author John Updike.