Edward Joseph Gorman was born on November 2, 1941 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended Coe College, but didn't graduate. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked for 23 years in advertising, public relations, and politics. His first novel, Rough Cut, was published in 1984. In 1985, he founded Mystery Scene Magazine and was the executive editor until 2002.
He wrote crime fiction, horror fiction, and western fiction under his own name and several pseudonyms. Using the pseudonym Daniel Ransom, he wrote horror and science fiction books including Daddy's Little Girl, The Babysitter, Nightmare Child, The Fugitive Stars, and Zone Soldiers. Using the pseudonym Richard Driscoll, he and Kevin D. Randle co-wrote the Star Precinct trilogy. Under his own name, he wrote crime and mystery books including Wolf Moon, The First Lady, the Sam McCain Mystery series, the Robert Payne Mystery series, the Jack Dwyer Mystery series, and the Dev Conrad Mystery series. His novel The Poker Club was adapted into a movie in 2008. He also wrote The First Lady and Senatorial Privilege under the pseudonym E. J. Gorman. He edited many volumes of science fiction, horror, and crime.
He received numerous awards including a Spur Award for Best Short Fiction for The Face in 1992, the Anthony Award for Best Critical Work for The Fine Art of Murder in 1994, and an International Horror Guild Award for Cages in 1995. He also received the Shamus Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the International Fiction Writers Award, and The Eye, the lifetime achievement award given out by the Private Eye Writers of America. He died after a long battle with cancer on October 14, 2016 at the age of 74.