Gary Heyward was born and raised in New York City’s Polo Ground Projects in Harlem. At the age of nineteen, he joined the United States Marines and became a decorated war veteran by serving in Desert Storm/Desert Shield Operation in 1990–1991. After receiving an honorable discharge he served as a New York City corrections officer, working ten years at Rikers Island. In May of 2006 Gary was arrested and convicted for selling drugs throughout the jail. During his incarceration he developed a passion for writing and penned his memoir, Corruption Officer. He was released in 2008 and currently works for the city of New York.