Catherine Marshall LeSourd was born Sarah Catherine Wood September 21, 1914 in Johnson City, TN. Her parents were John Ambrose Wood and Leonora Whitaker Wood. Catherine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. In 1936, she married Reverend Peter Marshall and five years later the couple moved to Washington, DC. Te Rev. Marshall was pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and chaplain of the United States Senate from 1947 until his death in 1949.
After Peter's death Catherine compiled a book of his sermons, Mr. Jones, Meet the Master. She published A Man Called Peter in 1951. The film based on it was released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1955 and was the studio's biggest hit that year.
In 1959, she married Leonard E. LeSourd, editor of Guideposts, a magazine published by the Reverend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. Her works always had inspirational themes, Whether they were fiction, biography, autobiography or collections of meditations. At the time of her death, her eighteen books had sold more than 18 millions copies in 35 languages.
Catherine's best-selling novel, Christy, published in 1967, was partially based on her mother Leonora's experience as a young schoolteacher at Ebenezer Mission, near Del Rio, TN.
Peter and Catherine had one son, Peter Marshall, Jr. In addition, Catherine helped raise Leonard's three children: Chester, Linda and Jeffrey. Catherine died on March 18, 1983 as the result of respiratory failure, her lung being weakened by a bout of tuberculosis she suffered in the 1940's.