Mark Salter was born in Davenport, Iowa. He first entered politics as a speechwriter for U.S. Ambassador to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick and later attended Georgetown University. He met McCain at the 1988 Republican National Convention, and ultimately wrote seven books on him, receiving front-cover credit for everyone. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he was an intimate collaborator, advisor, and confidant. He was also McCain’s primary speechwriter and served as his chief of staff. He lives in Alexandra, VA with his wife.