Susan Herring Jefferies Taynton was born at Tai An, China, in 1902. Her parents, David Wells Herring (1858-1940) and Alice Rhea Herring, were Baptist missionaries working in the interior of China. Susan Herring first came to the United States in 1920 and attended Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She subsequently led a varied life as a wife and mother of three children, was a statistical analyst at North Carolina State University, and in 1963 her book Papa Wore No Halo was published. Her book was a biography of her father, David Wells Herring. She was married to Clinton Jefferies, with whom she had her children, and later, Mark Taynton of Falls Church, Virginia.