1972 – After a classical education at the Portsmouth Abbey School, Buckley, like his father, graduated from Yale University, as a member of Skull and Bones. He became managing editor of Esquire Magazine.
1986 – Worked as the chief speechwriter for Vice President George H. W. Bush. This experience led to his novel The White House Mess, a satire on White House office politics.
1994 – Thank You For Smoking: A Novel is another satire, its protagonist a lobbyist for the tobacco industry, Nick Naylor. He followed that with more humor about Washington in the form of Little Green Men, about the government agency investigating UFO sightings, which turns out it really is a government conspiracy led by a Strom Thurmond-like U.S. Senator.
2002 – His No Way To Treat A First Lady has the president’s wife on trial for assassinating her husband.
2004 – Florence of Arabia is about a do-gooding State Department bureaucrat in the Middle East. His one serious novel, Wet Work, is about a father avenging his daughter’s death from drugs.