An author and one-time war correspondent, he is best known for his 1977 memoir, Dispatches, which details his time as a Vietnam War reporter for Esquire magazine. His other published works include The Big Room: Forty-Eight Portraits from the Golden Age (1987) and Walter Winchell: A Novel (1990).
Early in his career, he wrote a feature on rock musician Ted Nugent for Crawdaddy magazine.
He and Stanley Kubrick co-wrote the Full Metal Jacket screenplay.
He was born in Syracuse, New York. He married Valerie Herr.
Both he and cartoonist Sam Gross have been affiliated with Esquire magazine.