An American author and screenwriter, he is particularly known for his Saw horror series. He also wrote the popular short story collection, Creamy & Delicious (1970).
He studied at Cornell University and the University of Oregon. He published his first work, The Lestriad, in 1962.
He worked as a dairy farmer before becoming a writer.
He was raised in the Bronx, New York City. In the late 1970s, he became the director of the University of Colorado at Boulder's creative writing program.
He attended Cornell University, which was founded by Ezra Cornell.