Edgar Snow, the son of a printer, was born in Kansas City on 19th July 1905. After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York, Snow worked for several newspapers.
In 1928 Snow travelled to China and became assistant editor of the China Weekly Review in Shanghai. His first book on China, Far Eastern Front: An Eyewitness Account of the Sino-Japanese War, was published in 1933.
Snow moved to Beijing in 1933 where he lectured at Yenching University. He also became foreign correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post. He also provided articles on China for the Daily Herald, New York Sun and the Chicago Tribune. In 1936 Snow visited northern Shaanxi where he interviewed the leaders of the revolutionary Red Army. The following year he published Red Star Over China (1936).
Snow reported on the Second World War and after visiting Hong Kong and the Philippines published Battle for Asia (1941). He also reported on the ambush and massacre of the Communist-led New Fourth Army by KMT government troops.
In 1942 Snow became war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post. This included covering the war in India, China and the Soviet Union. In 1944 Snow was one of only six American correspondents accredited to cover the Eastern Front.
After the war Snow returned to the United States. However, Snow and his friend Agnes Smedley, was accused of being a communist by Joseph McCarthy. Snow eventually decided to leave the country and went to live in Switzerland.
Snow continued to write on China and important books by him include The Other Side of the River (1962) and The Long Revolution: Red China Today (1972). Snow commented: "The truth is that if I have written anything useful about China it has been merely because I listened to what I thought I heard the Chinese people saying about themselves. I wrote it down, as honestly and as frankly as I could - considering my own belief that it was all in the family - that I belonged to the same family as the Chinese - the human family."
Edgar Snow died in Switzerland on 15th February 1972.