Dr. O'Connor is a native of Los Angeles--having grown up in the "ghetto" of South-Central LA. His parents had eighth grade educations. His father died when the author was eight years old. This forced the family onto the welfare rolls while his mother went to school to learn clerical skills.
Dr. O'Connor's university education was at UCLA where he earned a BS and Master's degree and did two years of doctoral level work. He then changed his major and his university, gaining his doctorate at the University of Southern California--in philosophical and social foundations of education.
His interest in travel led to living and teaching in New Zealand, India, Canada and the Netherlands, culminating in a twenty year residence in Norway.
His experience in various cultures has prompted many of the ideas and questions he presents in the book.