John Luther Long was born January 1st, 1861, in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and spent most of his time in Philadelphia until his death on October 31, 1927. Most famous for his novella Madame Butterfly, he described himself as "a sentimentalist, and a feminist and proud of it." Much of his writing focuses on the relationships between men and women.

He married Mary Jane Sprenkle on January 17, 1882, and had one child, Bayard, in 1886. Though a lawyer by trade, Long took a great interest in writing, publishing ten books, several plays, and two librettos for opera. Additionally, he wrote over one hundred stories and plays which were unpublished.

David Belasco chose Madame Butterfly to adapt into a play, which brought the story to the attention of Giacomo Puccini, who turned it into the famous opera, Madama Butterfly. None of Long's works ever achieved the success of Madame Butterfly, but he garnered some attention with another Japanese drama, The Darling of the Gods, and Adrea, a ancient Roman tragedy.