Christopher Collier was born in New York City in 1930. He attended Clark University where he earned his B.A. and he received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has taught school in Connecticut and at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is currently Professor of American History at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.
He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for a book for adults, Roger Sherman's Connecticut: Yankee Politics and the American Revolution.
My Brother Sam Is Dead, published in 1974, gave readers a realistic view of the Revolutionary War on the eve of the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976. It was a Newbery Honor Book in 1975 and was designated a Notable Book by the American Library Association. It was also nominated for a National Book Award in 1975. Jump Ship to Freedom was named a Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies in 1981 by a joint committee of the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council.
Like his brother James, Christopher Collier is by avocation a musician (his instruments are the trumpet and flugelhorn). He and his wife Bonnie live in Orange, Connecticut, in an old (1790) house they have restored. He is the father of two sons and a daughter.