Goltz was born in Japan, raised in North Dakota and graduated from New York University with an MA in Middle East studies. He has worked in and around Turkey and the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union for the past 15 years. During that period he has become known mainly as a crisis correspondent due to coverage of the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Karabakh, the war of secession in Abkhazia from Georgia and the separatist conflict in Chechnya. His documentary for Global Vision's Rights and Wrongs program was a finalist in the Rory Peck Award for excellence in television journalism in 1996.
Goltz speaks German, Turkish, Arabic, Azeri and Russian, and now spends about half the year in the field and half in Montana, where he lives and teaches part-time at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. His Azerbaijan Diary is an account of Azerbaijan during the years after it separated from the Soviet Union, through to the Karabakh War and the rise of Heydar Aliyev. He is also the author of Chechnya Diary (the story of the 1995 Samashki massacre), Georgia Diary and, more recently, Assassinating Shakespeare: The True Confessions of a Bard in the Bush, an account of his early travels in Africa performing Shakespeare plays.
Goltz was accused of racism by the Armenian National Committee of Canada when, in March 2009, at a lecture sponsored by the Assembly of Azerbaijani-Canadian Organizations, he characterised the Armenian inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh as "garlic-growing Armenians".
- Azerbaijan Diary (1998)
- Chechnya Diary (2003)
- Georgia Diary (2006)
- Assassinating Shakespeare: The True Confessions of a Bard in the Bush (2006)
- Thomas Goltz personal website
- Thomas Goltz – Adjunct Faculty. Montana State University Department of Political Science