Talty attended Bishop Timon High School in New York and Amherst College in Massachusetts, before finding employment as a Journalist with the Miami Herald. During the 1990s, he went freelance in Dublin and New York, and contributed articles for the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Playboy, the Irish Times, and the Chicago Review.
In 2013, the movie Captain Phillips was released in the US, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi. The screenplay by Billy Ray was based on the 2010 book "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy Seals, and Dangerous Days at Sea" by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty as co-writer.
In 2017, Paramount pictures announced that it had acquired the movie rights to Talty's upcoming novel The Black Hand. Leonardo DiCaprio will star as Petrosino, and the film is due for release in 2018.