His father, Charles, was a housemaster of a boarding school, and later the headmaster. Graham attended the same school, Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire, but had a troubled time there. Suffering depression, he attempted suicide. He ran away from school at the age of 16 and his family then sent him to London for treatment. Following this he returned to Berkhampstead as a day pupil rather than a boarder.
Graham's depression was to recur throughout his life, and affected his personal life, but also influenced his writing. Following school he went to Oxford where he graduated in 1925 with a second-class degree in history.
Following Oxford he worked as a private tutor and in journalism. He became acquainted with his future wife while working in Nottingham for the Nottingham Journal. Other accounts say they met while he was at Oxford.
Greene published his first novel in 1929, two years after his marriage to Vivien Dayrell-Browning. The Greenes had two children, Lucy Caroline (born 1933) and Francis (born 1936).
One of the family homes was 14 Clapham Common North Side, where Greene lived with his family from August 1935; at that time he described it as "a most beautiful Queen Anne house … done up absolutely like a museum piece". It remained his home until October 1940 when it was hit in a bombing raid and became uninhabitable.
He separated from his wife in 1947, but was never divorced. His wife, being a Catholic, declined to grant this. His later partners were his goddaughter Catherine Walston (Lady Walston), and Yvonne Cloetta.
When his literary career took off, he ceased full time work as a journalist but did continue to freelance. A film review he wrote in 1937 resulted in him being sued by Twentieth Century Fox. Graham left England to live in Mexico until the trial was over.
Graham travelled widely throughout his life, and was recruited by MI6. His experiences provided a rich source of material to be incorporated in his novels.
In 1990 Greene was stricken with an unspecified blood disease, which weakened him so much that he moved from his home in Antibes, the South of France, to Vevey, Switzerland, to be closer to his daughter.
He lived the last year of his life in Vevey, on Lake Geneva in Switzerland and was buried in Corseaux cemetery. He died at the age of 86.
1911 England Census - Class: RG14; Piece: 7773; Schedule Number: 258; Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1911 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Name: Henry Graham Greene; Age in 1911: 6; Estimated Birth Year: abt 1905; Relation to Head: Son; Gender: Male; Birth Place: Gt Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, England; Civil Parish: St Berkhamstead Urban; County/Island: Hertfordshire; Country: England; Street address: School House, Berkhamsted; Registration district: Berkhampstead; Household Members: Charles Henry Greene 46, Marion Raymond Greene 39, Alice Maria Greene 14, Charles Reynard Greene 9, Henry Graham Greene 6, Hugh Carlton Greene 4m, Thomas Henry Cortis Hopkins 34, Mildred Ivy Chapman 15
Civil Marriage Index - Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010. Name: Henry G Greene; Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1927; Registration district: Hampstead; Inferred County: London; Spouse: Vivienne M Dayrell Browning; Volume Number: 1a; Page Number: 1612
Find-a-Grave Index - Ancestry.com. Web: International, Find A Grave Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Name: Graham Greene; Birth Date: 2 Oct 1904; Age at Death: 86; Death Date: 3 Apr 1991; Burial Place: Corseaux, Vaud, Switzerland. Find A Grave: Memorial #5204
Biography & Genealogy Master Index - Ancestry.com. Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Gale Research Company; Detroit, Michigan; Accession Number: 1798177. Name: Henry Graham Greene; Birth Year: 1904
Netherland Genealogy Index - Ancestry.com. Web: Netherlands, GenealogieOnline Trees Index, 1000-2015 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Name: Graham Greene; Gender: m (Male); Birth Date: 1904; Birth Place: Berkhamstead (Hertfordshire) England; Death Date: 1991; Death Age: 87; Father: Charles Greene; Mother: Marion Raymond Greene; https://www.genealogieonline.nl/en/stamboom-dullemen/I227727.php
Select works (for full bibliography, see FSP)
The Man Within (début – 1929)
Stamboul Train (1932) (also published as Orient Express in the U.S.)
It's a Battlefield (1934)
England Made Me (also published as The Shipwrecked) (1935)
A Gun for Sale (1936)
Journey Without Maps (1936)
Brighton Rock (1938)
The Lawless Roads (1939) (also published as Another Mexico in the U.S.)
The Confidential Agent (1939)
The Power and the Glory (1940)
The Ministry of Fear (1943)
The Heart of the Matter (1948)
The Third Man (1949) (novella written as a preliminary to Greene's screenplay for the film The Third Man)
The End of the Affair (1951)
Twenty-One Stories (1954) (short stories)
Loser Takes All (1955)
The Quiet American (1955)
The Potting Shed (1956)
Our Man in Havana (1958)
A Burnt-Out Case (1960)
In Search of a Character (1961) Two African journals