He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and grew up in New York. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a former editor of the Harvard Lampoon. He has been a writer for Time magazine since 1992. He is currently an editor of the Wall Street Journal. In May 2005, Time published Chris's interview with comedian Dave Chappelle.
He is the author of the fact-based novel Kingston by Starlight, the novel My Favorite War; and biographies Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley; Aaliyah, More Than a Woman; Introducing Halle Berry; and is a co-author of Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, A Musical Journey.
He is married to CNBC personal finance reporter Sharon Epperson, who authored the financial book The Big Payoff', and they live in Westchester County, New York with their two children.