Martin MacIntyre grew up in Lenzie, near Glasgow, his father being originally from South Uist. He studied medicine at Aberdeen University, graduating in 1988. In 1992 Martin attained qualifications in Broadcasting and Gàidhealtachd studies from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye. In the same year he won the first William Ross Prize for Gaelic Writing.
In 2003 Martin won the Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award for his book, Ath-Aithne (Reacquaintance).