Eric Schlosser was born in New York City in 1959. He lived in Manhattan during most of his youth but later moved to Los Angeles where his father, Herbert, would become president of the broadcasting company NBC. Schlosser eventually graduated from Princeton with a bachelor’s in U.S. history and from Oxford with a graduate degree in British history. After trying his hand (unsuccessfully) at writing drama and fiction, Schlosser turned to journalism in the 1990s and wound up gaining some challenging assignments from the prestigious magazine Atlantic Monthly. He wrote for other publications as well, including Rolling Stone, which is where Schlosser first published the results of a long investigative report that would develop into his first book, Fast Food Nation.
Fast Food Nation went on to become a best seller and an international hit, which led to more investigative reporting from Schlosser. He returned to writing full-length works after becoming interested in the underground economy and culture that have grown around the use and marketing of marijuana. The result was his 2003 book, Refer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in America's Black Market. Schlosser also has written another version of Fast Food Nation for young adults, called Chew on This (2007). He worked on the film adaptation of Fast Food Nation, which was released in 2006.
Schlosser is married to Shauna Redford, daughter of actor/director Robert Redford. The couple have two children and live in California. Schlosser is currently at work on his next book, which will be about the U.S. prison system.