Virtue was born and raised in Canada and received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa. He was a parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa for United Press International when the news agency transferred him to Latin America. He was a foreign correspondent based in Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico. He is currently director of the International Media Center at Florida International University in Miami. He is the author of eight non-fiction books. His 2007 book South of the Color Barrier, about how the Mexican Baseball League hastened the racial integration of the major leagues in the United States. It won the 2008 Robert Peterson Recognition Award for the best sports book of its genre and has been optioned for a movie.