Ehrmann was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 26, 1872, to a
an emigrant family from Bavaria, Germany.
received his early education from the Terre Haute Fourth District
School and the German Methodist Church. Upon
graduation, Ehrmann studied law and philosophy at Harvard and edited
'The Rainbow', a national college fraternity magazine. It was at
Harvard, that he published his first book, A Farrago, in 1898.
practiced law as Deputy States Attorney for two years. He then worked
for a number of years as credit manager and attorney for his brother's
the age of 40, Ehrmann left the family business and returned to
writing full-time. Throughout his career, he wrote more than 20 books
and pamphlets and many essays and poems that were published separately
in newspapers and magazines. His most acclaimed work was "Desiderata",
originally published in 1927. "Desiderata" has been
published in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies and was
produced as a single record by Warner Brothers in 1971.
Ehrmann died in 1945, well before "Desiderata" gained its