Stephen Mitchell was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943, and he attended Amherst, the Sorbonne, and Yale. In 1973 he began studying Zen practice with Zen Master Seung Sahn.
He has translated numerous books from Chinese, German, and Hebrew, including The Frog Prince (Harmony, 1999), The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai with Chana Bloch (1996), The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (1995), A Book of Psalms: Selected & Adapted from the Hebrew (1994), The Gospel According to Jesus: A New Translation and Guide to His Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers (1993), Tao Te Ching (1992) and The Book of Job (1992). He is also the translator of Bhagavad Gita (Broadway Books, 2000). He has also edited anthologies such as The Essence of Wisdom: Words from the Masters to Illuminate the Spiritual Path (Broadway Books, 1998), Into the Garden: A Wedding Anthology(1993), and The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry (1989) and has published a book of original poetry, Parables and Portraits (1990). Stephen Mitchell lives in Berkeley, California.