Rob Gaylard was born in Mutare (Umtali), Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in 1946. He was educated at Prince Edward School (Harare) and at the universities of Natal, Rhodes, Exeter and Stellenbosch. Rob recently completed a doctorate entitled Writing Black: the Short Story by Black South African writers 1930 - 1990. He has taught in the English Department at Stellenbosch University since 1984 and played an active role in promoting the study of South African and African literature within the department. His main research interest is black South African writing, particularly the short story, but also other genres (the novel, poetry, plays).
He has been married twice, has five children and lives in Observatory. Rob has a history of involvement in community organisations dating from the 1980s. Currently he is Vice Chair of the Obs Civic Association and is assisted in coordination of relief efforts for victims of the recent Afriphobic violence.