After graduating from high school in Cody, Wyoming, Donald Hardy served in the U.S. Navy overseas, attended college on a music scholarship (trumpet), and then became a radio and television reporter in Wyoming, graduating in 1975 to a television news directorship in Montana.
After Wyoming's Al Simpson was elected to the U.S. Senate, Hardy moved to Washington as his press secretary and later became chief of staff, in charge of the Senator's official and political activities and staff in Washington and Wyoming.
Simpson and Hardy, who have known each other a half-century, worked together for three Senate terms (18 years) before Simpson retired and Hardy was named director of government affairs at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. In late 1999, Hardy retired to engage in humanitarian efforts overseas with his wife, Rebecca. The two were aboard their sailboat/home in 2005 when contacted by Simpson about writing his authorized biography.
Simpson granted Hardy exclusive and unrestricted access to his massive private diary, his lifetime collection of personal papers and documents, and every aspect of his personal life. Although Simpson had no editoral control as the book was being written, he did fact check the final draft of "Shooting From The Lip: The Life of Senator Al Simpson," and said, "This book is the true me. It is the only written account of my life that I have ever authorized - or ever will."
Donald and Rebecca Hardy live in Red Lodge, Montana.