Robert E. Balmanno earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, receiving Highest Honors. He attended the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he did post-graduate work in Politics, International Relations, and Philosophy. Later he attended postgraduate studies at the University of London, King's College, Department of War Studies.
Balmanno served in the Peace Corps in Dahomey in West Africa from 1973 to 1975. He worked training bulls to plow fields and pull carts in a region where no outsiders have ever been before--the place where the New World practices of voodoo originated among the Adja people of West Africa.
Between 1975 and 1978 Balmanno traveled through Europe and Asia. Over a period of two decades, he dedicated his life to producing contemporary literary fiction.