Wang Zhongfang was born on January 1, 1921 in Wuhu, city, Anhui province China. He joined the Chinese revolution in 1937 and the Chinese Communist Party in 1938. He attended the Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese Military and Political University and the Mao Zedong Academy for Young Cadres. He held positions as teacher in the Yanan Nationalities Institute and as Chief of the Social Division of the Northern China Bureau. After Liberation in 1949, he served in the Ministry of Public Security as Political Secretary for the first minister Luo Ruiqing, who later became Head of the People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department. This last position was the primary reason Wang experienced the events depicted in Forged in Purgatory.
Wang was rehabilitated after the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and declined offers to rejoin the leadership of the Ministry of Public Security. He later served as Party Representative in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Vice-Secretary and Director of the Institute of Legal Research, Director of the Central Propaganda Office, Vice-Director of the National Committee for Foreign Languages, President of the Chinese Committee for the Study of Law, representative to the Thirteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Member of the Seventh and Eight Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Vice-Director of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Member of the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Public Security and president of the China Law Society. His work focused on teaching, helping young people, building a better future, promoting rule of law, institution-building and nation-building.