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John Grisham Biography

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John Grisham Biography Photo

John Grisham © Bob Strong

When Grisham Was Born:

February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas

John Grisham's Background:

Grisham was raised by Southern Baptist parents and his childhood ambition was to be a baseball player. He earned a degree in accounting at Mississippi State University and went on to law school at the University of Mississippi.

What John Grisham Did Before Writing:

Grisham practiced law at a small firm in Southhaven, MS for ten years, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. He also served in the state House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990.

Primary Genre:

Thriller fiction

How John Grisham Started Writing:

Grisham began writing as a hobby while he worked as a lawyer after hearing the testimony of a 12-year-old rape victim. Her words inspired Grisham to write A Time to Kill, which was published in 1988 and experienced only modest success.

What John Grisham Has Written:

Since 1988, Grisham has written one book per year. His breakaway success came with his second novel, The Firm. Although most of his novels are legal thrillers, Grisham has also written three books that break the mold, including A Painted House, Bleachers and Skipping Christmas.

Check out a complete list of John Grisham's books.

John Grisham's Family Life:

Grisham and his wife, Renee, have two children, Ty and Shea. They have two homes, one in Mississippi and one in Virginia.

John Grisham's Charitable Work:

After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast in September 2005, the John and Renee Grisham established the Rebuild the Coast Fund with an initial $5 million gift. John Grisham is also active in his church and has participated in church-sponsored mission trips.

John Grisham Trivia:

  • Grisham returned to law briefly in 1996, representing the family of a man killed in a railroad accident.
  • According to Grisham's official Web site, Grisham built six ballfields on his property that host 26 Little League baseball teams.
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