Humphreys was born in Kingston, Ontario. Following his birth, he moved with his family to Alberta. After attending Ridley, he graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960, and edited the campus paper The Manitoban
in 1959-60. Humphreys began his professional journalism career with the Edmonton Journal
in 1960, where he met and befriended future Prime Minister Joe Clark, who was then a student at the University of Alberta and a summer student with the newspaper. He then moved to the Winnipeg Tribune
. Humphreys was appointed as News Editor for the Calgary Albertan
in 1964, and became managing editor there in 1966. He moved to London, England in 1969 to take a position as European correspondent for FP Publications. He served as Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail
. He became the managing editor for the Ottawa Journal
in 1973, but that newspaper folded in the late 1970s. Humphreys wrote a 1978 biography of Joe Clark entitled Joe Clark: A Portrait
. The book sold well, and remains the only significant biography of Clark, who became Canadian prime minister in 1979. Humphreys then worked as an executive assistant to a federal cabinet minister. In 1980, he founded the Humphreys Public Affairs Group Inc., in Ottawa, which has specialized in housing and real estate issues. The firm has served both Canadian and multinational companies, as well as public sector organizations, and Humphreys continues to lead the firm.