Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Michael Bar-Zohar immigrated to Israel in 1948 with his family and grew up in Jaffa. He subsequently did his military service in Air Force Intelligence and Paratroopers. He got his B.A. in Political Science from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, then a M.A. and Ph. D. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Paris, France. During his studies (1959-1964) he was foreign correspondent in Paris. His Ph.D. thesis was published in Paris as a book, Suez Ultra-Secret, and became an instant best seller. In Israel, David Ben-Gurion read the book and agreed that Bar-Zohar would write his official biography.