Buchwald, who was born in Mount Vernon, New York, began his journalism career while serving as a marine during World War II. After dropping out of the University of South California in the late 1940s, he bean writing for Variety. Over the next six decades, he wrote for such publications as The Herald Tribune and The Washington Post, and at one point was syndicated in more than 500 newspapers worldwide. He won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Outstanding Commentary.
In 1970, his play Sheep on the Runway ran for nearly 100 performances at the Helen Hayes Theater. It was directed by Gene Saks, and the cast included Barnard Hughes, Elizabeth Wilson, and Remak Ramsay.
Buchwald also wrote many books, including I'll Always Have Paris!, Leaving Home, and Stella in Heaven: Almost A Novel. He also made headlines when he sued Paramount Pictures claiming his story "King for a Day" was the basis for the hit Eddie Murphy film Coming to America. In 1992, he won the case, and received $900,000 in damages.
Buchwald is survived by his children, Joel, Jennifer, and Connie, and five grandchildren.