Michael Prestwich was born in Oxford, in 1943. The son of Oxford historians, it was perhaps inevitable that he studied at Oxford University for his first degree and his doctorate. His first job was at the University of St Andrews, where there was a highly successful department of medieval history. He moved to the University of Durham in 1979, and taught there until he retired, by which time it had rebranded itself as Durham University. In the 1990s he served as pro-vice-chancellor, with a range of responsibilities from research to health and safety. He began his own research with work on Edward I, and his publications have concentrated on thirteenth and fourteenth century England in most of its aspects, with a particular emphasis on war and its impact on government and society. He is married, with three children and five grandchildren, and still enjoys skiing. He was awarded an OBE in 2010.