Fuentes was born in Panama City, Panama. His father was a Mexican diplomat, and while Fuentes was growing up, the family moved to different countries in South America and then to the United States.
He got a degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, but instead of being a lawyer, he chose to be a diplomat and writer. He published his first novel, called La región más transparente (Where the Air Is Clear in English) in 1958. From 1975 to 1977, Fuentes was Mexico's ambassador to France. He died in Mexico City, Mexico from a haemorrhage.
- "Carlos Fuentes". BBC. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
- De Palma, Anthony (15 May 2012). "Carlos Fuentes, Mexican Man of Letters, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.