Angelo Codevilla was born near Milan, Italy, in 1943 and emigrated to the United States in 1955. After receiving a Ph.D. in 1973, Codevilla taught political science. In 1977 he joined the U.S. Foreign Service but quickly moved to Capitol Hill, where he served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He helped to conceive the technology programs that, in 1983, were relabeled the Strategic Defense Initiative. In 1980 Codevilla was appointed to the teams preparing the presidential transition for the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency. Throughout his time in government, Codevilla published on intelligence and national security and taught. In 1985 Codevilla returned to full-time academic life as a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. While at Hoover, he also taught at Boston University and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
Codevilla's books and articles range from French and Italian politics to the thoughts of Machiavelli and Montesquieu to arms control, war, the technology of ballistic missile defenses, and a broad range of international topics. Articles by Codevilla have appeared in Commentary, Foreign Affairs, National Review, and the New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.