Karl Miller was born in August 1931. He was educated at the Royal High School of Edinburgh and Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied English. He became Literary Editor of The Spectator and the New Statesman. He then became editor of The Listener in 1967 and subsequently the London Review of Books, which he founded, from 1979 to 1992. He was also Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature and head of the English Department at University College, London until 1992.
Miller’s books include Cockburn's Millennium, which received the James Tait Black Memorial Award, Doubles, Authors, and two volumes of Autobiography, Rebecca's Vest and Dark Horses. A Life of James Hoggart, Electric Shepherd appeared in 2003.