Born in Sydney and growing up on the north coast of New South Wales, Ian Moffitt worked for the Sun as a copy boy and became a cadet early in 1945. In 1949, during the China civil war, he joined the staff of the South China Morning Post. He then became a reporter, sub-editor, feature writer and foreign correspondent for Australian newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Mirror, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian and the Bulletin, notable for his interpreting and reporting on the world and on Australia from a purely Australian perspective. He worked in New York for several years as head of the News Ltd. bureau before giving up journalism and concentrating on writing full-time in 1979.
Moffitt was the author of two non-fiction books: The U-Jack Society: An Experience of Being Australian (1972) a critique of Australian attitiudes to conservation, the arts, the press, sport, foreign policy, migrants and racism, and The Australian Outback (1976), which has been translated into German, Dutch, Italian and French. At the time of his death from cancer he was working on a novel, 'The Birth of Aphrodite', that remains unpublished, set mainly in New York in the 1920s-1950s.