Michael Chorost was born in New Jersey in 1964 with severe hearing loss in both ears due to an epidemic of rubella. He did not learn to talk until he was fitted with hearing aids at the age of three and a half. The hearing aids enabled him to grow up speaking English more or less normally and he received a BA in English from Brown University and a PhD in educational technology from the University of Texas at Austin.
In 1999 he moved from Austin to San Francisco for a dot-com job. Two years later, on July 7, 2001, he lost the remaining hearing in his one usable ear and received a cochlear implant shortly afterward. This experience was chronicled in his book Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human. It won the PEN/USA Book Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2006 and has been optioned for the screen.
Since the book came out, he has given dozens of talks and radio and television interviews and his work has been published in Wired, The Futurist, The Scientist, and The Best American Science Writing 2006. He wrote a television special on brain implants titled The 22nd Century which aired on PBS in January 2007. He now teaches at the University of San Francisco and continues to work as a freelance writer and public speaker. He has a cat named Elvis who is a major character in his book.