Philip Norman was born in London and brought up on the Isle of Wight. He joined the Sunday Times at the age of twenty-two, soon gaining a reputation as Atticus columnist and for his profiles of various public figures. In 1981 he published Shout!, a ground-breaking biography of the Beatles that was a bestseller in both Britain and the US. He has also written the definitive lives of Sir Elton John and Buddy Holly.
His journalism has been published in three collections, The Road Goes On Forever, Tilt the Hourglass and Begin Again, and The Age of Parody. His book Babycham Night, is a memoir of his childhood on the Isle of Wight. He is married with a daughter and lives in London.