Walter Mosley was born in Los Angeles in 1952. He currently lives in New York City. He has been at various times in his life a potter, a computer programmer, a poet, and a short story writer; he studied writing in the graduate program of City College of New York. The first title in his Easy Rawlins mystery series, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS was released in September 1990 to great critical acclaim. His first non-mystery, a novel about the blues, R. L.'s DREAM, was published by W.

W. Norton in August 1995. Mosley's most recent work, BLUE LIGHT, a science fiction novel, was published by Little, Brown in November 1998 Mosley's work twice nominated for Edgar Award; both WHITE BUTTERFLY and BLACK BETTY were nominated for a Golden Dagger Award in England; and one of his short stories, THE WATTS LION, was nominated for the Best Pi Short Story in 1994. THE THIEF, another short story, was awarded the O. Henry Prize in 1996. ALWAYS OUTNUMBERED, ALWAYS OUTGUNNED was awarded the Anis field-Wolf Book Award in 1998.

Mosley's books have been translated into twenty languages and his short stories have appeared in GC, Esquire, USA Weekend, and Buzz magazines. Devil in a Blue Dress was made into a movie in 1995 starring Denzel Washington and Jennifer Beals, produced by Jonathan Demme and directed by Carl Franklin. Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned was adapted by Mosley for an HBO original movie starring Lawrence Fishburne, Natalie Cole, Cicely Tyson, and Bill Cobbs, directed by Michael Acted, and produced by Palomar Productions. A second Socrates Fort low movie is in the works, with Mosley again writing the script and Fishburne in the lead role. Mosley serves on the board of Trans Africa, the National Book Foundation, the Poetry Society of America, Manhattan Theater Club, and is past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He was named in 1996 the first Artist in Residence at the Africana Studies Institute at New York University.

Since that residency, he has continued to work with the department, creating an innovative lecture series called 'Black Genius' that brings diverse speakers from the fields of art, politics, and academe to discuss practical solutions to contemporary issues. The first season of these speeches, Black Genius, were published by W. W. Norton last winter..