Peter Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 2 March, 1943, the first of three sons of a salesman and a nurse. The salesman wanted him to become an athlete, the nurse thought he would do well as either a doctor or a Lutheran minister, but all he wanted to do was to learn to read.
Straub's desire to learn to read at an early age led him to memorize his comic books and recite them over and over again until he could recognize the words. He also paid regular visits to the library in search of pirates, soldiers, detectives and spies and soon earned the reputation as a storyteller, in demand around campfires and in back yards.
He lives in New York City with his wife Susan, director of the Read to Me program.