Blish trained as a biologist at Rutgers and Columbia University, and spent 1942–1944 as a medical technician in the U.S. Army. After the war he became the science editor for the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company. His first published story appeared in 1940, and his writing career progressed until he gave up his job to become a professional writer. He married literary agent Virginia Kidd in 1947. He worked for the Tobacco Institute from 1962-1968. In 1968, he emigrated to England. Between 1967 and his death in 1975, he became the first author to write short story collections based on the TV series Star Trek. In total, he wrote 11 volumes of short stories adapted from episodes of the series, as well as an original novel, Spock Must Die! in 1970. He died midway through writing Star Trek 12; his second wife, J. A. Lawrence, completed the book, and later completed the adaptations in the volume Mudd's Angels.