Matthew W. Kent was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and is a graduate of Lincoln High School (1991), and San Francisco State University (1997), with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Beginning in 2007, Kent decided to share his love of fortifications and soon began work on writing a field guide comprising of the Harbor Defenses of San Francisco and its various elements built from 1890 to 1950. In 2011, Kent decided to completely update his original work with new and updated material, as well as correcting a number of errors and omissions found in the first edition.
In 2015, Kent undertook a new endeavor in an effort to document the relatively small and lesser known coast defense military reservations of northern Marin County. The fruit of this labor is his fourth book.