Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Graydon Carter spent a portion of his early years in transit between England and Germany due to his father's assignments with the Royal Canadian Air Force. His family eventually settled in Ottawa, where he struggled to complete his schooling. Carter later worked in a variety of blue-collar jobs, including lineman on a railroad in Western Canada, before attending the University of Ottawa. Though he did not earn his degree from the institution, he did help to transform a student publication, The Canadian Review, into a professional arts-and-culture magazine. Carter then briefly attended Carleton University before heading for New York in 1978. There, he began working for Time, where he was introduced to writer and columnist Kurt Andersen. In 1986, the duo launched their own magazine, Spy, which brought together hard-hitting journalism with pointed, occasionally cruel satire of public figures. After receiving two National Magazine Awards, Carter left Spy in 1991 to serve as editor for The New York Observer. There, he refocused the paper's interests from local politics to insider commentary on Gotham media and business. After only a year as steward of The Observer, Carter was offered the editor position at Vanity Fair. He replaced the outgoing Tina Brown, who had taken over the reins at The New Yorker, and retained her focus on high-gloss profiles of Hollywood actors and executives while adding his own interest in the history of high society on both coasts. Under his guidance, Vanity Fair won 11 National Magazine Awards, including two for general excellence for magazines with a circulation of more than one million, while Carter himself was twice named Adweek's editor of the year. While continuing to oversee the magazine, Carter expanded his focus to include several books, most notably Vanity Fair's Hollywood (2000) and Oscar Night: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties (2004) - a subject which Carter had first-hand knowledge through his exclusive, high-profile Oscar party. After years of covering Hollywood's most powerful movers and shakers, he joined their ranks by producing several critically acclaimed documentaries, including "The Kid Stays in the Picture" (2002), which covered the wild life and accomplishments of Robert Evans, and the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning "9/11" (2002), which viewed the events of September 11, 2001 from the perspective of the New York City Fire Department. In 2011, he received an Emmy nomination for co-producing "His Way" (2011), a documentary about producer Jerry Weintraub.