Little is known about Middleton's life other than the information he offered through his novels. Middleton died a garbage man in the summer of 1993. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Marcy Middleton and sons, Travis and Sean Middleton of Birmingham, Alabama; father, Harry Frederick Middleton, Scottsdale, Arizona; sister, Mrs. Donna Middleton Bates; grandparents, Mrs. Rose Middleton, Shreveport, Louisiana and Travis Jones, Arkansas.
He had previously worked as an outdoors columnist for Southern Living magazine, but it is speculated that they fired him and that this spurred a depression which helped lead to his demise. Prior to working at "Southern Living," Middleton wrote in the early 1980s for a magazine called "Louisiana Life." His column of personal observations, entitled "Louisiana At Large," included essays with titles such as "The Day the Spider Died," and "The Boy's First Brush with Education."
Middleton was an English major at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and earned a master's degree in Western history at Louisiana State University in 1973. His thesis: Frontier outpost: a history of Fort Jesup, Louisiana, 1822-1846 .
He lived in New Orleans, where he wrote about food, art, music and books for Figaro, an alternative newspaper. He later moved to Birmingham.
Harry Middleton is also widely considered to be an outstanding American fishing writer. His signed books command high prices and are collectable. His first was published in 1989.