Martin John Gilbert was born on the 25 October 1936, the son of Peter and Miriam Gilbert. He was educated at Highgate School then Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1963 he married his first wife, Helen Constance Robinson, with whom he had one daughter. He has two sons with his second wife Susan Sacher.
Gilbert carried out his Army National Service from 1955-1957 before becoming a Senior Research Scholar at St Antony's College, Oxford (1960-62). He worked as a research assistant to Winston Churchill's son, Randolph S. Churchill, from 1962-67 on the first volumes of the Official Biography of Sir Winston Churchill and, after Randolph's death, became the Official Biographer of Sir Winston's life in 1968.
Gilbert has published numerous works including the multi-volume official biography of Sir Winston Churchill. Many of these works are about Churchill and a complete list of publications can be found in Sir Martin's entry in "Who's Who" (A & C Black).
The collection comprises correspondence between Sir Martin and Robert Hastings of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker about his work on the official biography. The correspondence was kept by Hastings. It was purchased at auction by Claude Sère, and donated by him to the Archives Centre.
One file was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre in 2002 by Claude Sère. A further three files were deposited by Claude Sère in September 2003.