Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in March 1952, educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge where, in 1974 he gained a BA (and later an MA) in English literature.

He was creator of all the various manifestations of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxywhich started life as a BBC Radio 4 series. Since its first airing in March 1978 it has been transformed into a series of best-selling novels, a TV series, a record album, a computer game, several stage adaptations and a feature film.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's phenomenal success sent the book straight to number one in the UK bestseller lists, and in 1984 Douglas Adams became the youngest author ever to be awarded a Golden Pan. 

He followed this success with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980), Life, The Universe and Everything (1982), So Long and Thanks for all the Fish (1984) and Mostly Harmless (1992). The first two books in the Hitchhiker series were adapted into a 6 part television series, which was an immediate success when first aired in 1982. Other publications include Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul (1988).Douglas teamed up with John Lloyd and wrote The Meaning of Liff (1984) and The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990). In another collaboration, he and the zoologist Mark Carwardine wrote Last Chance to See – an account of a world-wide search for rare and endangered species of animals.

Douglas was also a founding director of h2g2, formerly The Digital Village, a digital media and Internet company with which he created the 1998 CD-ROM Starship Titanic, a Codie Award-winning (1999) and BAFTA-nominated (1998) adventure game.