The son of medical missionaries to China, Stephen Wilkerson was born in Shanghai, although he later moved to and grew up through high school in central Taiwan. Like Faust, pulled in two directions, he received an M.D. and also a Ph.D. in history from Duke University and has been vacillating between science and the humanities ever since. Most of his professional career has been in the field of medicine, first in the U.S. Navy, then in the U.S. Army, and finally in private practice in Florida. His time as a physician, especially in the military, provided many opportunities for teaching, which he has done in some capacity or other ever since working as a tutor and English language instructor in high school.
After retiring first from the Army and later from civilian practice, he entered a program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, from which he most recently received a Ph.D. in mythological studies. He has for 10 years co-chaired the area on mythology of the national Popular Culture Association, and continues his interest in teaching now primarily for Road Scholar and other adult continuing education programs.
He has published a number of papers, particularly in medicine, but this is his first book. He is now living in Black Mountain, North Carolina.