Gary Priest grew up in Rangeley Maine graduating from Rangeley High School and the University of Maine. He served as a lieutenant in the U. S. Army and then traveled extensively through Europe, Egypt and the Middle East for two years. He spent 31 years in the accounting department at New England Life Insurance Company in Boston, rising to vice president, by his retirement in 1994. In 1965 he married Barbra Evans of Des Moines, Iowa, whom he met several times during his travels in Europe. They have three children and three grand children.
During his childhood he became familiar with many of the camps mentioned in his book and during high school and college worked at four different sporting camps in Rangeley. In 1971 he purchased three of the Mingo Springs Hotel Camps and since his retirement has been a summer resident there. He has been on the board of the Rangeley Lakes Region Historical Society and served as vice president since 2000. He is also the author of two other books: History of Rangeley Hotels and Camps (2003) and Mingo Springs Hotel, the Early Days (2005).