An American writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction books, he is best known for In the Quarter and The King in Yellow. His other works include The Maker of Moons; The Mystery of Choice; and The Tree of Heaven.
He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian, both in Paris.
Before dedicating himself to writing, he was a successful artist.
He was the New York-born son of famous attorney William P. Chambers. Robert Chambers married Elsa Vaughn Moller in 1898; they had one son.
H.P. Lovecraft criticized Chambers' writing.