Martin Diamond was born in New York City in 1919 and died in Washington, D.C., in 1977.

Before World War II, Martin Diamond attended college only briefly and did not complete undergraduate studies. Nevertheless, after wartime service, he was admitted in 1950, on the basis of his self-education, as a graduate student in the Department of Political Science, University of Chicago, earning the A.M. in 1952 and Ph.D. in 1956.

He held teaching positions at the University of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Claremont Men’s College and Claremont Graduate School, and Northern Illinois University. Had it not been for his sudden death from a heart attack in July of 1977, he would have assumed the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Chair on the Foundations of American Freedom, Georgetown University, on August 1, 1977, and would have served concurrently as adjunct scholar of the American Enterprise Institute.

Diamond was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1960–61; the Rockefeller Foundation, 1963–64; the Relm Foundation, 1966–67; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1974–75; and the National Humanities Institute in New Haven, Connecticut, 1975–76.

Martin Diamond was also called on for advice by state and local officials, by United States senators and congressmen, and by the president and the vice-president of the United States. He spent the last morning of his life testifying before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee against proposals to abolish the Electoral College.