John Grisham, The unchallenged master of the legal thriller, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas on February 8, 1955, the second of five siblings. His family, headed by his father who was a construction worker and a cotton farmer, moved frequently until 1967 when they settled in Southaven, a small town in De Soto County, Mississippi.
Young John loved baseball and grew up with dreams of a professional career. Encouraged by his mother, he also became an avid reader. He was especially influenced by John Steinbeck whose clarity he admired. Eventually, he realized that pro ball wasn't in the cards so he applied himself to academics. Toward this end he attended Mississippi State University where he majored in accounting. While a student, Grisham began keeping a journal and thus developed the writing habit. He proceeded to get a law degree in 1981 and went on to practice small-town general law in Southaven for nearly a decade, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In time, he became bored with criminal law and successful at civil law.
In 1983, he was elected to the Mississippi state House of Representatives and served until 1990.
Besides being extraordinarily popular with readers, Grisham's novels have enjoyed unparalleled success as movies. Among those that have succeeded in film are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, and the Chamber.
Among the novels written by John Grisham are The Broker, The Partner, The Bleachers, The King of Torts, The Last Juror, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker, The Firm, The Client, The Testament, The Summons, The Broker, The Innocent Man, Playing for Pizza.