Albert Wendt was born in 1939 in Apia, Samoa. His father was a plumber. He studied in New Zealand, taking an M.A. in history from Victoria University, Wellington, where his thesis was on the Mau, the Samoan independence movement. He worked as a teacher and university lecturer and then professor in Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand. He has written, drama, poetry, stories and novels as well as critical works on South Pacific literature. He has also made a film.