Peter Godwin was born and raised in Zimbabwe. He studied law at Cambridge University and international relations at Oxford. He is an award-winning foreign correspondent, author, documentary-maker and screenwriter.
After practicing human rights law in Zimbabwe, he became a foreign correspondent, reporting from more than 60 countries, including conflicts in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Somalia, Congo, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir and the last years of apartheid South Africa.
He served as East European correspondent and diplomatic correspondent for the London Sunday Times, and chief correspondent for BBC television’s flagship foreign affairs program, Assignment, making documentaries in such places as Cuba, Panama, Indonesia, Pakistan, Spain, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Baltics, and the Balkans as it descended into war. His film about the sex trade in Thailand, The Industry of Death, won the gold medal for investigative film at the New York Film Festival.
He wrote and co-presented a three-part series Africa Unmasked for Britain's Channel Four. He has written for a wide array of magazines and newspapers including Vanity Fair, (for which he was a finalist for the Michael Kelly award) National Geographic, The New York Times magazine and Men’s Journal.
He is the author of six non-fiction books: 'Rhodesians Never Die' - The Impact of War and Political Change on White Rhodesia c.1970 - 1980 (with Ian Hancock), Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa (with photos by Chris Johns and foreword by Nelson Mandela), The Three of Us (with Joanna Coles), Mukiwa, which received the George Orwell prize and the Esquire-Apple-Waterstones award, and When a Crocodile Eats the Sun - a Memoir of Africa, which won the Borders Original Voices Award. His book The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe, was selected by the New Yorker as a best book of the year.
He has taught writing at Princeton and the New School, and currently teaches at Wesleyan and Columbia. From 2012-15 he served as President of the PEN American Center. He is an Orwell fellow, a Guggenheim fellow, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.