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John Grisham

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John Grisham


Renee Jones (m. 1981)

John Grisham httpslh5googleusercontentcomuDFnmfxGmNkAAA

John Ray Grisham, Jr. February 8, 1955 (age 69) Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States (

Legal thrillerCrime fictionBaseballFootball

Shea Grisham (born 1986)Ty Grisham (born 1983)

Movies and TV shows
Northwest Mississippi Community College

A Time to Kill, The Firm, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, Rogue Lawyer, Syca Row

Similar People
James Patterson, Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, Dan Brown, Michael Connelly

Meet the writers john grisham

John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American bestselling writer, attorney, politician, and activist best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been translated into 42 languages and published worldwide.


John Grisham John Grisham Biography Books and Facts

John Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. He practiced criminal law for about a decade and served in the House of Representatives in Mississippi from January 1984 to September 1990.

John Grisham John Grisham writer Writers Artists amp Musicians

His first novel, A Time to Kill, was published in June 1989, four years after he began writing it. As of 2012, his books have sold over 275 million copies worldwide. A Galaxy British Book Awards winner, Grisham is one of only three authors to sell 2 million copies on a first printing.

John Grisham Authors John Grisham

Grisham's first bestseller, The Firm, sold more than seven million copies. The book was adapted into a 1993 feature film of the same name, starring Tom Cruise, and a 2012 TV series which "continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel." Eight of his other novels have also been adapted into films: The Chamber, The Client, A Painted House, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, Skipping Christmas, and A Time to Kill.

John grisham s biography

Early life

Grisham, the second of five siblings, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Wanda Skidmore Grisham and John Grisham. His father worked as a construction worker and a cotton farmer, while his mother was a homemaker. When Grisham was four years old, his family settled in Southaven, DeSoto County, Mississippi. As a child, Grisham wanted to be a baseball player. Grisham has been a Christian since he was eight years old, and he describes his conversion to Christianity as "the most important event" in his life. After leaving law school, he participated in some missionary work in Brazil, under the First Baptist Church of Oxford.

Although Grisham's parents lacked formal education, his mother encouraged him to read and prepare for college. He drew on his childhood experiences for his novel A Painted House. Grisham started working for a nursery as a teenager, watering bushes for US$1.00 an hour. He was soon promoted to a fence crew for US$1.50 an hour. He wrote about the job: "there was no future in it". At 16, Grisham took a job with a plumbing contractor but says he "never drew inspiration from that miserable work". Through a contact of his father's, he managed to find work on a highway asphalt crew in Mississippi at age 17. It was during this time that an unfortunate incident got him "serious" about college. A fight with gunfire broke out among the crew causing Grisham to run to a nearby restroom to find safety. He did not come out until after the police had detained the perpetrators. He hitchhiked home and started thinking about college. His next work was in retail, as a salesclerk in a department store men's underwear section, which he described as "humiliating". He decided to quit but stayed when he was offered a raise. He was given another raise after asking to be transferred to toys and then to appliances. A confrontation with a company spy posing as a customer convinced him to leave the store. By this time, Grisham was halfway through college. Planning to become a tax lawyer, he was soon overcome by "the complexity and lunacy" of it. He decided to return to his hometown as a trial lawyer.

He went to the Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi and later attended Delta State University in Cleveland. Grisham drifted so much that he changed colleges three times before completing a degree. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1977, receiving a BS degree in accounting. He later enrolled in the University of Mississippi School of Law to become a tax lawyer, but his interest shifted to general civil litigation. He graduated in 1981 with a JD degree.

Law and politics

Grisham practiced law for about a decade and won election as a Democrat in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990, at an annual salary of US$8,000. Grisham represented the seventh district, which included DeSoto County. By his second term at the Mississippi state legislature, he was the vice-chairman of the Apportionment and Elections Committee and a member of several other committees.

Grisham's writing career blossomed with the success of his second book, The Firm, and he gave up practicing law, except for returning briefly in 1996 to fight for the family of a railroad worker who was killed on the job. His official site states: "He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer. Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of US$683,500 — the biggest verdict of his career."

Writing career

Grisham said the big case came in 1984, but it was not his case. As he was hanging around the court, he overheard a 12-year-old girl telling the jury what had happened to her. Her story intrigued Grisham, and he began watching the trial. He saw how the members of the jury cried as she told them about having been raped and beaten. It was then, Grisham later wrote in The New York Times, that a story was born. Musing over "what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants", Grisham took three years to complete his first book, A Time to Kill.

Finding a publisher was not easy. The book was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press, an unknown publisher, agreed to give it a modest 5,000-copy printing. It was published in June 1989. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on his second novel, The Firm, the story of an ambitious young attorney "lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared." The Firm remained on The New York Times' bestseller list for 47 weeks, and became the bestselling novel of 1991.

Beginning with A Painted House in 2001, Grisham broadened his focus from law to the more general rural South but continued to write legal thrillers. He has also written sports fiction and comedy fiction.

He wrote the original screenplay for and produced the 2004 baseball movie Mickey, which starred Harry Connick Jr.

In 2005, Grisham received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, which is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust.

In 2010, Grisham started writing a series of legal thrillers for children aged 9 to 12 years. It features Theodore Boone, a 13-year-old who gives his classmates legal advice ranging from rescuing impounded dogs to helping their parents prevent their house from being repossessed. He said, "I'm hoping primarily to entertain and interest kids, but at the same time I'm quietly hoping that the books will inform them, in a subtle way, about law." He also stated that it was his daughter, Shea, who inspired him to write the Theodore Boone series. "My daughter Shea is a teacher in North Carolina and when she got her fifth grade students to read the book, three or four of them came up afterwards and said they'd like to go into the legal profession."

In an October 2006 interview on the Charlie Rose show, Grisham stated that he usually takes only six months to write a book, and his favorite author is John le Carré.

Southern settings

Several of Grisham's legal thrillers are set in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, in the equally fictional Ford County, a town still deeply divided by racism. The town and county are located in Northwest Mississippi. The first novel set in Clanton, Mississippi was A Time to Kill. Other stories to be set there include The Last Juror, The Summons, The Chamber, and Sycamore Row. The stories in the collection Ford County are also set in and around Clanton.

Other Grisham novels have non-fictional Southern settings, for example The Runaway Jury and The Partner, are both set in Biloxi, and large portions of The Pelican Brief in New Orleans.

Personal life

Grisham married Renee Jones on May 8, 1981. The couple have two children together: Shea and Ty. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm outside Oxford, Mississippi, and a home near Charlottesville, Virginia. They own a home in Destin, Florida.

In 2008, he and his wife bought a condominium at McCorkle Place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

As a Baptist, he advocates the separation of church and state. He has said, "I have some very deep religious convictions that I keep to myself, and when I see people using them for political gain it really irritates me."

Grisham has a lifelong passion for baseball demonstrated partly by his support of Little League activities in both Oxford, Mississippi, and Charlottesville, Virginia. In 1996, Grisham built a $3.8 million youth baseball complex. He remains a fan of Mississippi State University's baseball team and wrote about his ties to the university and the Left Field Lounge in the introduction for the book Dudy Noble Field: A Celebration of MSU Baseball. As part of his passion for sports, Grisham is a supporter of Virginia Cavaliers athletics. He has been spotted at various sporting events on-campus and it is believed he gave a $2 million donation to help renovate the Cavaliers' baseball stadium, Davenport Field. His son Ty played baseball at UVA.

Political activism

Grisham is a member of the board of directors of the Innocence Project, which campaigns to free and exonerate unjustly convicted people on the basis of DNA evidence. The Innocence Project argues that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Grisham has testified before Congress on behalf of the Innocence Project. He also has appeared on Dateline NBC, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, and other programs. He wrote for The New York Times in 2013 about an unjustly held prisoner at Guantanamo. Grisham opposes the death penalty – an opposition very strongly manifested in the plot of The Confession.

Grisham believes that prison rates in the United States are excessive, and the justice system is "locking up far too many people". Citing examples including "black teenagers on minor drugs charges" to "those who had viewed child porn online", he controversially added that be believed not all viewers of child pornography are necessarily pedophiles. After hearing from numerous people against this position, he later recanted this statement in a Facebook post.

The Mississippi State University Libraries, Manuscript Division, maintains the John Grisham Room, an archive containing materials generated during the author's tenure as Mississippi State Representative and relating to his writings.

In 2012, the Law Library was renamed in his honor. It had been named for more than a decade after the late Senator James Eastland.

In 2015, Grisham, along with about 60 others, signed a letter published in the Clarion-Ledger urging that an inset within the flag of Mississippi containing a Confederate flag be removed. He co-authored the letter with author Greg Iles; the pair contacted various public figures from Mississippi for support.

Awards and honors

  • 2005 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award
  • 2007 Galaxy British Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2009 Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction
  • 2011 The inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for The Confession
  • 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for Sycamore Row
  • Jake Brigance

    A lawyer and the main protagonist of A Time to Kill and its sequel Sycamore Row. In the film adaptation of A Time to Kill, Brigance is played by Matthew McConaughey.

    Appears in:

  • A Time to Kill (1989)
  • Sycamore Row (2013)
  • Lucien Wilbanks

    A close friend of Jake Brigance and an important supporting character in A Time to Kill, Wilbanks also appears alongside Harry Rex Vonner in The Last Juror and opposite both Brigance and Vonner in Sycamore Row. In the A Time to Kill film Wilbanks is played by Donald Sutherland.

    Appears in:

  • A Time to Kill (1989)
  • The Last Juror (2004)
  • Sycamore Row (2013)
  • Harry Rex Vonner

    A key supporting character in A Time to Kill and a close friend of Jake Brigance, also appearing opposite Brigance and Lucien Wilbanks in Sycamore Row. He also earlier appears alongside Wilbanks alone in The Last Juror and by himself as a minor character in The Summons and in the short story Fish Files. In the film version of A Time to Kill Vonner is played by Oliver Platt.

    Appears in:

  • A Time to Kill (1989)
  • The Summons (2002)
  • The Last Juror (2004)
  • Fish Files (2009)
  • Sycamore Row (2013)
  • Teddy Maynard

    Head of the CIA in The Broker and The Brethren, portrayed as a physically frail but mentally alert manipulator who resorts to extralegal means to protect what he considers to be the national interest.

    Appears in:

  • The Brethren (2000)
  • The Broker (2005)
  • F. Denton Voyles

    Head of the FBI. Played by Steven Hill in the 1993 film The Firm based on the novel of the same name.

    Appears in:

  • The Client (1993)
  • The Firm (1991)
  • The Pelican Brief (1992)
  • Theodore Boone

    Appears in:

  • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010)
  • Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011)
  • Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012)
  • Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013)
  • Theodore Boone: The Fugitive (2015)
  • Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016)
  • Television

  • The Client (1995–1996) 1 season, 20 episodes
  • The Street Lawyer (2003) TV pilot
  • The Firm (2011–2012) 1 season, 22 episodes
  • References

    John Grisham Wikipedia

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