Rosanne Klass was born and grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and took degrees at the University of Wisconsin and Hunter College. In the 1950s she lived and taught in Afghanistan; then and later she traveled widely in Asia, the Near East and Europe. As secretary of the Afghanistan Council of the Asia Society in the 1960s, she initiated two exhibits of Afghan art. She has published poetry and criticism as well as journalism, has written on art and opera, and in 1959 suggested the idea that became the Balanchine ballet "The Figure in the Carpet". In 1980 she founded the Afghanistan Relief Committee, and throughout the Soviet-Afghan War she directed the Afghanistan Information Center at Freedom House in New York. She also co-authored and edited Afghanistan-the Great Game revisited, which is the standard reference on that war. She lives in New York City.