John Corbin was born in Chicago and educated at Harvard, where he was awarded the George B. Sohier Prize for literature. After his graduation from Harvard, Corbin soon became an established writer in New York City. From 1897 to 1900 he was an assistant editor of Harper's Magazine, during part of this time acting also as dramatic critic for Harper's Weekly; in 1902 he wrote the dramatic notices of the New York Times and in 1905-07 those of the Sun. From 1908 to 1910 he was literary manager of The New Theatre, during the short life of which his efforts contributed much towards notably artistic productions. He served as secretary of the Drama Society of New York until 1916. In 1916 he produced Shakespeare'sThe Tempest (with full text in the Elizabethan manner). From 1917 to 1919 he was dramatic critic of the New York Times and after 1919 editorial writer for the same paper.