Harry Norman Turtledove was born in Los Angeles, CA on 14 June 1949. He attended UCLA, receiving a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977.
Turtledove published his first two novels, Wereblood and Werenight, in 1979, under the pseudonym "Eric G. Iverson". Turtledove later explained that his editor at Belmont Towers did not think people would believe the author's real name was "Turtledove" and suggested that he come up with something more Nordic.
He is married to mystery writer Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.