Greene was born to an upper class family. As a child, he was bullied and struggled with depression. He was later diagnosed with manic depression.
He attended Oxford University, and largely kept to himself while he was there. After school, he immediately turned to journalism, where he found some success.He converted to Catholicism to marry his wife, and the religion became a subject of critique for many of his novels.
His first novel, The Man Within, was successful enough to ensure him full-time work as a novelist. Greene was very, very successful as a novelist and wrote many books during his lifetime, many of which had movie adaptations and commercial success.
In 1941, his sister recruited him to work for MI6. Greene left the agency in 1944, but he wrote several books based on his experiences as a spy.
For a while, he also worked in a publishing, curating and editing fiction.
After falling victim to a financial swindler, he retired to France. In his declining years, he was known to be good friends with Charlie Chaplin.