John Grisham Biography

John Grisham is a best-selling American novelist, politician and lawyer. Go through this biography to learn more about his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: February 8, 1955

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By John Grisham Novelists

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Age: 63 Years, 63 Year Old Males

Also Known As: John Ray Grisham Jr.

Born in: Jonesboro, Arkansas

Famous as: American writer

Height: 1.85 m

political ideology: Democratic

Spouse/Ex-: Renee Jones

father: John Grisham

mother: Wanda Skidmore Grisham

children: Shea Grisham, Ty Grisham

religion: Baptist

City, States, Provinces & Districts: Arkansas

Net worth: $300 Million as of Jan 2017

More Facts

education: Northwest Mississippi Community College, Mississippi State University, Southaven High School, Delta State University, University of Mississippi

awards: 2005 - Helmerich Award

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Many years ago, the best-selling author of today, John Grisham was toiling away at a law firm, unaware of his looming luck. Before he began penning his legal thrillers, he initially worked as a lawyer in Mississippi and would pen stories during lunch breaks at work as a ‘hobby’. Today, his books have made it to the shelves of best-sellers and he is a celebrity author. Some of his well-known novels include, ‘The Firm’, ‘The Pelican Brief’, ‘The Broker’, ‘The Appeal’, The ‘Theodore Boon’ series and ‘The Client’. These works have concreted Grisham’s standing as the chief of legal thrillers. In his two decades of writing, he has written innumerable novels and has sold over 250 million copies around the world. Some of his novels even procreated hit Hollywood films and some are yet in development. This famous author outlines his novels interminably. Some of the outlines, in his words, ‘take longer to write than the manuscript itself’. Grisham is largely a self-taught writer, compelled by unimpeachable instinct and a critical reading habit, influenced by the works of Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Pay Conroy and John LeCarre. Writing apart, he is also an active member of ‘The Innocence Project’. To learn more about this interesting personality, scroll further for more.

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John Grisham
Childhood & Early Life
  • John Ray Grisham, Jr. was the second of the five children born to John Grisham and Wanda Grisham, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The family settled in DeSoto County, Mississippi, when he was just four years old.
  • He initially wanted to become a baseball player but his dreams soon changed when he began focusing on his education, while attending Northwest Mississippi Community college.
  • As a teenager, he worked a number of odd jobs including watering bushes, working with the asphalt crew and working as a salesclerk in a departmental store. All these jobs drove him to a point of ‘lunacy’, which is when he decided that he would pursue his college education seriously.
  • He then shifted to Delta State University but finally graduated from Mississippi State University, with a BS in Accounting, in 1977.
  • After his graduation, he studied civil litigation at the University Of Mississippi School Of Law and graduated with a JD degree, in 1983.
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Career
  • He practiced law for a decade and was also elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives as a Democrat, in 1983. He was a member of the Mississippi state legislature from 1983 to 1990. He served as the vice-chairman of the Apportionment and Elections Committeee, and was a member of several other committees.
  • In 1984, an incident involving the rape of a 12-year-old girl inspired him to write his first novel, ‘Time to Kill’, which took three years to complete.
  • Once the novel was complete, Grisham had a difficult time to find publishers. ‘Wynwood Press’ finally published his work in June, 1989. Right after his novel was published, he began working on his second novel, ‘The Firm’, which was published two years later.
  • From 1992 to 1998, he published a series of best-selling novels such as ‘The Pelican Brief’, ‘The Client’, ‘The Chamber’, ‘The Rainmaker’, ‘The Runaway Jury’, ‘The Partner’ and ‘The Street Lawyer’ in the order.
  • Starting with the new millennium, in 2001, he diverged from the legal genre and authored ‘A Painted House’ and ‘Skipping Christmas’ the same year. In the next two years, he authored, ‘The Summons’, ‘The King of Torts’ and ‘Bleachers’.
  • The period from 2004 to 2008 was an extremely fruitful one, when he published a number of best-sellers including, ‘The Last Juror’, ‘The Broker’, ‘Playing for Pizza’ and ‘The Appeal’. He experimented with a new genre for ‘Playing for Pizza’, as it was based on American football.
  • In 2010, he deviated from writing legal thrillers yet again, but this time, his books targeted a whole new segment; children. The ‘Theodore Boone’ series, which is a four-part series, is about a 13-year-old boy who gives legal advice to his peers.
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  • From 2011 to 2013, along with the ‘Theodore Boone’ series, he has also authored, ‘The Litigators’, ‘Calico Joe’, ‘The Racketeer’ and the most recent, ‘Sycamore Row’, which is yet to be released.
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Major Works
  • His first best-seller, ‘The Firm’, released in 1991 and sold over than seven million copies worldwide. It became the first best-seller of the year 1991 and is known as his most widely-recognized novel. The book was adapted for a feature film of the same title, starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. It was also adapted for television in 2011. Many of his novels have been translated in 29 languages.
  • In 1993, his third novel, ‘The Pelican Brief’ became an international best-seller. A film adaptation of the same was released the same year starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts.
  • His fourth novel, ‘The Client’, which was published in 1993, earned him widespread acclaim. The novel became so successful that it was adapted for film the very next year, starring Susan Sarandon. The film also became a huge hit, which went on to spawn a television series that ran from 1995 to 1995.
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Awards & Achievements
  • In 2005, he was presented the ‘Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award’.
  • He is also the recipient of the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Galaxy British Book Awards.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • He wed Renee Jones on May 8, 1981 and they have two children. In their spare time, the family moves between their homes in Oxford, Mississippi and their other home in Charlottesville, Virgina.
  • He is one of the Board of Directors of the ‘The Innocence Project’, which is a project involved in acquitting convicts who were unfairly sentenced on the basis of DNA tests.
  • There is a ‘John Grisham Room’ in the Mississippi State University, which houses all the materials written by Grisham.
  • Since he is an avid baseball fan, he supports the Mississippi State University’s baseball team and also produced the 2004 baseball movie, ‘Mickey’.
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Trivia
  • Apart from J.K. Rowling and Tom Clancy, this famous author is the only other author to sell 2 million copies on a first printing.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- John Grisham Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/john-ray-grisham-jr-1913.php
Last Updated
- January 10, 2018

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