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John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist and lawyer known for his popular
legal thriller The legal thriller is a subgenre of Thriller (genre), thriller and crime fiction in which the major characters are lawyers and their employees. The system of justice itself is always a major part of these works, at times almost functioning as one o ...
s. According to the
American Academy of Achievement The American Academy of Achievement, colloquially known as the Academy of Achievement, is an American non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is ...
, Grisham has written 28 consecutive number-one bestsellers, and his books have sold 300 million copies worldwide. Along with
Tom Clancy Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) was an American novelist. He is best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science, military-science storylines set during and after the Cold War. Seventeen of h ...
and
J.K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym ...
, Grisham is one of only three authors to have sold two million copies on a first printing. Grisham graduated from
Mississippi State University Mississippi State University for Agriculture and Applied Science, commonly known as Mississippi State University (MSU), is a Public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university adjacent to Starkville, Mississippi. It ...
and earned a
Juris Doctor The Juris Doctor degree (J.D. or JD), also known as Doctor of Law or Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D., JD, D.Jur., or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is ...
from the
University of Mississippi School of Law The University of Mississippi School of Law, also known as Ole Miss Law, is an American Bar Association, ABA-accredited law school located on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi. The School of Law ...
in 1981. He practiced criminal law for about a decade and served in the
Mississippi House of Representatives The Mississippi House of Representatives is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpora ...

Mississippi House of Representatives
from 1984 to 1990.The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
Encyclopediaofarkansas.net; retrieved December 9, 2011.
Grisham's first novel, '' A Time to Kill,'' was published in June 1989, four years after he began writing it. Grisham's first
bestseller A bestseller is a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical s ...
, '' The Firm'', sold more than seven million copies. The book was adapted into a 1993 feature film of the same name, starring
Tom Cruise Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (born July 3, 1962) is an American actor and producer. One of the world's highest-paid actors, he has received various accolades throughout his career, including three Golden Globe Awards The Golden Globe Awar ...
, and a 2012 TV series which continues the story ten 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 ''A Painted House'' is a 2001 novel by American author John Grisham. It was made into a television film in 2003, starring Scott Glenn and Logan Lerman. Inspired by his childhood in Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Sout ...
'', ''
The Pelican Brief ''The Pelican Brief'' is a legal-suspense thriller by John Grisham John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist, best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been tra ...
'', '' The Rainmaker'', ''
The Runaway Jury ''The Runaway Jury'' is a legal thriller novel written by American author John Grisham. It was Grisham's seventh novel. The hardcover first edition was published by Doubleday Books in 1996 (). Pearson Longman released the graded reader edition in ...
'', ''
Skipping Christmas ''Skipping Christmas'' is a comedic novel by John Grisham. It was published by Doubleday (publisher), Doubleday on November 6, 2001 and reached #1 on New York Times Best-Seller, ''The New York Times'' Best-Seller List on December 9 that year. The ...
'', and '' A Time to Kill''."John Grisham by Mark Flanagan"
About.com; retrieved December 9, 2011.
Grisham's latest book (his 42nd published novel), ''A Time for Mercy'', is his third story involving the characters established in ''A Time to Kill'' and further follows the story of Jake Brigance, a Mississippi small town lawyer representing a minor accused of murder.


Early life

Grisham, the second of five children, was born in
Jonesboro, Arkansas Jonesboro is a city located on Crowley's Ridge Crowley's Ridge (also Crowleys Ridge) is a geological formation that rises 250 to above the alluvial plain of the Mississippi embayment in a line from southeastern Missouri Missouri is a ...
, to Wanda (née Skidmore) and John Ray Grisham. His father was a construction worker and a cotton farmer, and his mother was a homemaker.John Grisham biography
jgrisham.com; retrieved December 9, 2011.
When Grisham was four years old, his family settled in
Southaven, Mississippi Southaven is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. It is a principal city in Memphis metropolitan area, Greater Memphis. The 2010 census reported a population of 48,982, making Southaven the third-larg ...
, a suburb of
Memphis, Tennessee Memphis is a city along the Mississippi River in southwestern Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. Its 2020 population was 633,104, making it Tennessee's List of largest cities and towns in Tennessee by population, second-most populous city ...
. As a child, he wanted to be a baseball player. As noted in the foreword to ''
Calico Joe ''Calico Joe'' is John Grisham's first baseball novel. It was released on April 10, 2012. The book's style mixes fact and fiction - introducing fictional players into well-known actual teams such as the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs and lets ...
'', Grisham gave up playing baseball at the age of 18, after a game in which a pitcher aimed a
beanball "Beanball" is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a Baseball, ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking them such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player's head (or "bean" in old-fashioned slang). A pitcher ...
at him, and narrowly missed doing the young Grisham grave harm. Grisham is a
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
who has described a salvation experience at age 8 as "the most important event" in his life. After leaving law school, he participated in some
missionary A missionary is a member of a Religious denomination, religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or provide services, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development.Thomas Hale 'On Being a Missi ...

missionary
work in
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

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 ''A Painted House'' is a 2001 novel by American author John Grisham. It was made into a television film in 2003, starring Scott Glenn and Logan Lerman. Inspired by his childhood in Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Sout ...
''. Grisham started working for a plant nursery as a teenager, watering bushes for $1.00 an hour. He was soon promoted to a fence crew for $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 one of his father's contacts, he managed to find work on a highway
asphalt Asphalt, also known as bitumen (, ), is a sticky, black, highly viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or externa ...

asphalt
crew in
Mississippi Mississippi () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; a ...
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 A department store is a retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics) ...
men's underwear section, which he described as "humiliating". 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.Grisham, John (September 6, 2010)
"Boxers, Briefs and Books"
''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
''; accessed November 2, 2017.
He attended the
Northwest Mississippi Community College Northwest Mississippi Community College is a public community college in Senatobia, Mississippi. It was founded in 1928. As of August 2008, Northwest's enrollment exceeds 7,100 students. There are approximately 3,000 students on the Senatobia ca ...
in
Senatobia Senatobia is a city in, and the county seat A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or Parish (administrative division), civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Hungary and the U ...
, Mississippi and later attended
Delta State University Delta State University (DSU) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership or receives significant Government spending, public funds through a national or subnational governme ...
in
Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North ...
. Grisham changed colleges three times before completing a degree. He eventually graduated from
Mississippi State University Mississippi State University for Agriculture and Applied Science, commonly known as Mississippi State University (MSU), is a Public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university adjacent to Starkville, Mississippi. It ...
in 1977, receiving a
B.S. A Bachelor of Science (BS, BSc, SB, or ScB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as L ...
degree in
accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other ob ...
. He later enrolled in the
University of Mississippi School of Law The University of Mississippi School of Law, also known as Ole Miss Law, is an American Bar Association, ABA-accredited law school located on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi. The School of Law ...
to become a tax lawyer, but his interest shifted to general civil litigation. He graduated in 1981 with a
J.D. JD or jd may refer to: Arts and entertainment * JD (film), ''JD'' (film), a 2016 Bollywood film * J.D. (Scrubs), J.D. (''Scrubs''), nickname of Dr. John Dorian, fictional protagonist of the comedy-drama ''Scrubs'' * JD Fenix, a character from t ...
degree.


Career


Law and politics

Grisham practiced law for about a decade and won election as a
Democrat Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy, or democratic government; a form of government involving rule by the people. *A member of a Democratic Party: **Democratic Party (United States) (D) **Democratic Party (Cy ...
to the
Mississippi House of Representatives The Mississippi House of Representatives is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpora ...

Mississippi House of Representatives
from 1984 to 1990.Miller, Erin Collaz
Biography of John Grisham
Bestsellers.about.com (February 8, 1955); retrieved 2011-12-09.
Grisham represented the 7th District, which included DeSoto County. By his second term in the 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 website 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 $683,500 — the biggest verdict of his career."


Writing career

Grisham said a case that inspired his first novel came in 1984, but it was not his case. He heard a 12-year-old girl telling a jury what had happened to her. Her story intrigued Grisham. He saw how the members of the jury cried as she told them about having been raped and beaten. "I remember staring at the defendant and wishing I had a gun." It was then, Grisham later wrote in ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'', that a story was born. Over the next three years he wrote his first book, ''A Time to Kill''. 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.''Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture''
retrieved December 9, 2011.
The day after Grisham completed ''A Time to Kill'', he began work on his second novel, ''The Firm''. ''The Firm'' remained on ''The New York Times'' Best Seller list for 47 weeks, and became the seventh bestselling novel of 1991. This would begin a streak of having one of the top 10 selling novels of the year for nearly the next two decades. In 1992 and 1993 he had the second bestselling book of the year with ''
The Pelican Brief ''The Pelican Brief'' is a legal-suspense thriller by John Grisham John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist, best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been tra ...
'' and '' The Client'' and from 1994 to 2000 he had the number one bestselling book every year. In 2001 Grisham did not have the bestselling book of the year but he did have both the second and third books on the list with ''
Skipping Christmas ''Skipping Christmas'' is a comedic novel by John Grisham. It was published by Doubleday (publisher), Doubleday on November 6, 2001 and reached #1 on New York Times Best-Seller, ''The New York Times'' Best-Seller List on December 9 that year. The ...
'' and ''
A Painted House ''A Painted House'' is a 2001 novel by American author John Grisham. It was made into a television film in 2003, starring Scott Glenn and Logan Lerman. Inspired by his childhood in Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Sout ...
''. In 1992, ''The Firm'' was made into a
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, ...
starring
Tom Cruise Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (born July 3, 1962) is an American actor and producer. One of the world's highest-paid actors, he has received various accolades throughout his career, including three Golden Globe Awards The Golden Globe Awar ...
and was released in June 1993, grossing $270 million. A filmed version of ''
The Pelican Brief ''The Pelican Brief'' is a legal-suspense thriller by John Grisham John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist, best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been tra ...
'' starring
Julia Roberts Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an American actress. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical meri ...

Julia Roberts
and
Denzel Washington Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor, director, and producer. Known for his performances , he has been described as an actor who reconfigured "the concept of classic movie stardom". He has frequently collabo ...

Denzel Washington
was released later that year and grossed $195 million. Following their success,
Regency Enterprises Regency Enterprises (commonly referred to as Regency onscreen and credited as Regency Enterprises (USA), Inc. (in the U. S.) and Monarchy Enterprises S.á.r.l. (overseas)) is an American entertainment company formed by Arnon Milchan. It was found ...
paid Grisham $2.25 million for the rights to ''The Client'' which was released in 1994 starring
Susan Sarandon Susan Abigail Sarandon (; Tomalin; born October 4, 1946) is an American actressMcCabe, Bruce"Susan Sarandon, the 'actor'" ''Boston Globe''. April 17, 1981. Retrieved January 21, 2021. and activist. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, i ...

Susan Sarandon
and
Tommy Lee Jones Tommy Lee Jones (born September 15, 1946) is an American actor and film director. He has received four Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry ...
and then
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, or simply Universal; common metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an int ...
paid him the highest amount ever for an unpublished novel, paying $3.75 million for the rights to ''The Chamber''. In August 1994,
New Regency Regency Enterprises (commonly referred to as Regency onscreen and credited as Regency Enterprises (USA), Inc. (in the U. S.) and Monarchy Enterprises S.á.r.l. (overseas)) is an American entertainment company formed by Arnon Milchan. It was found ...
paid a record $6 million for the rights to ''A Time to Kill'', with Grisham asking for a guarantee that
Joel Schumacher Joel T. Schumacher (; August 29, 1939June 22, 2020) was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and costume designer. Raised in New York City by his mother, Schumacher graduated from Parsons School of Design and became a fashion desi ...

Joel Schumacher
, the director of '' The Client'', would direct. Beginning with ''A Painted House'', Grisham broadened his focus from law to the more general rural South but continued to write legal thrillers at the rate of one a year. In 2002 he once again claimed the number one book of the year with '' The Summons''. In 2003 and 2004 he missed the number one bestseller of the year due to ''
The Da Vinci Code#REDIRECT The Da Vinci Code ''The Da Vinci Code'' is a 2003 mystery thriller novel by Dan Brown. It is Brown's second novel to include the character Robert Langdon: the first was his 2000 novel ''Angels & Demons''. ''The Da Vinci Code'' follow ...
'' by
Dan Brown Daniel Gerhard Brown (born June 22, 1964) is an American author best known for his thriller Thriller may refer to: * Thriller (genre), a broad genre of literature, film and television ** Thriller film, a film genre under the general thriller ge ...
but he once again produced two novels which ended the year in the top 5. In 2004, ''
The Last Juror ''The Last Juror'' is a 2004 legal thriller novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, ...
'' ended the year at number four and in 2005 he overtook ''The Da Vinci Code'' and returned to number one for the year with ''
The Broker ''The Broker'' is a suspense novel written by American author John Grisham and published in the United States on January 11, 2005. The novel follows the story of Joel Backman, a newly pardoned prisoner who had tried to broker a deal to sell the ...

The Broker
''. 2006 marked the first time since 1990 that he did not have one of the top selling books of the year, but he returned to number two in 2007, number one in 2008 and number two in 2009. He has also written sports fiction and comedy fiction. He wrote the original
screenplay A screenplay, or script, is a written work by screenwriter A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter for short), scriptwriter or scenarist, is a writer A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and technique ...
for and produced the 2004 baseball movie ''
Mickey Mickey is a given name and nickname, almost always masculine and often a short form (hypocorism A hypocorism ( or ; from Ancient Greek: (), from (), 'to call by pet names') or pet name is a name used to show affection for a person or obje ...
'', 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 Charles Peete Rose Jr. (born January 5, 1942) is an American former television journalist and talk show host. From 1991 to 2017, he was the host and executive producer of the talk show ''Charlie Rose Charles Peete Rose Jr. (born January 5, ...
'' show, Grisham stated that he usually takes only six months to write a book, and his favorite author is
John le Carré David John Moore Cornwell (19 October 193112 December 2020), better known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alia ...
. In 2011 and 2012 his novels '' The Litigators'' and ''The Racketeer'' claimed the top spot in ''The New York Times'' best seller lis
Best Sellers - Books - Nov. 13, 2011 - The New York TimesHardcover Fiction Books - Best Sellers - Books - Nov. 11, 2012 - The New York Times
The novels were among the best selling books of those years, spending several weeks atop various best seller list
Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Oct. 28
https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203513604577140620731981302 Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Jan.
Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Oct. 30
In 2013 he again reached the top five in the US best-seller list
'Sycamore Row' holds top spot on U.S. best-sellers list
In November 2015 his novel '' Rogue Lawyer'' was at the top of the ''New York Times'' Fiction Best Seller for two week
Combined Print & E-Book Fiction - Best Sellers - Books - Nov. 15, 2015 - The New York Times
In 2017, Grisham released two legal thrillers. ''Camino Island'' was published on June 6, 2017. The book appeared at the top of several best seller lists including ''USA Today'', ''The Wall Street Journal'', and ''The New York Times''. ''The Rooster Bar'', published on October 24, 2017, was called "his most original work yet", in '' The News Herald''.


Southern settings

''This section does NOT need references or sources as they would be circular in nature, only referring back to the book titles themselves.'' Several of Grisham's legal thrillers are set in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, in the equally fictional Ford County, a northwest Mississippi town still deeply divided by racism. The first novel set in Clanton was '' A Time to Kill''. Other stories set there include ''
The Last Juror ''The Last Juror'' is a 2004 legal thriller novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, ...
'', '' The Summons'', '' The Chamber'', '' The Reckoning'', '' A Time for Mercy'' 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 Partner'' and ''
The Runaway Jury ''The Runaway Jury'' is a legal thriller novel written by American author John Grisham. It was Grisham's seventh novel. The hardcover first edition was published by Doubleday Books in 1996 (). Pearson Longman released the graded reader edition in ...
'' are set in
Biloxi Biloxi (; ) is a city and one of two county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public ad ...
, and large portions of ''
The Pelican Brief ''The Pelican Brief'' is a legal-suspense thriller by John Grisham John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist, best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been tra ...
'' in
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
. ''A Painted House'' is set in and around the town of Black Oak, Arkansas, where Grisham spent some of his childhood.


Personal life


Marriage

Grisham married Renee Jones on May 8, 1981. The couple have two children: Shea and Ty.


Real estate holdings

The family splits their time among their home in Charlottesville, Virginia, a home in
Destin, Florida Destin is a city located in Okaloosa County, Florida, Okaloosa County, Florida. It is a principal city of the Crestview–Fort Walton Beach–Destin, Florida, metropolitan area. Located on Florida's Emerald Coast, Destin is known for its white bea ...
, and a condominium in
Chapel Hill, North Carolina Chapel Hill is a town in Orange County, North Carolina, Orange, Durham County, North Carolina, Durham and Chatham County, North Carolina, Chatham counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Its population was 57,233 in the 2010 United States Ce ...
. Their former and longtime
Victorian Victorian or Victorians may refer to: 19th century * Victorian era, British history during Queen Victoria's 19th-century reign ** Victorian architecture ** Victorian house ** Victorian decorative arts ** Victorian fashion ** Victorian literature ...
home on a farm outside
Oxford, Mississippi Oxford is a city in, and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administr ...
, was given to Ole Miss after 2011.


Religion

Grisham is a member of the University Baptist Church in
Charlottesville, Virginia Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an independent city (United States), independent city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, Virginia, Albemarle County, which su ...
, itself a constituent of the
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is a Baptist Christian denomination in the United States. It is affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance. The headquarters is in Decatur, Georgia. History The Cooperative Baptist Association has its or ...
. Grisham opposes a literalist understanding of the Bible, and endorses the American
separation of church and state The separation of church and state is a philosophic and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religi ...
.


Baseball

Grisham has a lifelong passion for
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at ...

baseball
demonstrated partly by his support of
Little League Little League Baseball and Softball (officially, Little League Baseball Inc) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section ...
activities in both
Oxford, Mississippi Oxford is a city in, and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administr ...
, and in
Charlottesville Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical pr ...
. In 1996, Grisham built a $3.8 million youth baseball complex. In ''
A Painted House ''A Painted House'' is a 2001 novel by American author John Grisham. It was made into a television film in 2003, starring Scott Glenn and Logan Lerman. Inspired by his childhood in Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Sout ...
'', a novel with strong autobiographical elements, the protagonist, a seven-year-old farmer boy, manifests a strong wish to become a baseball player. As he notes in the foreword to ''Calico Joe'', Grisham himself stopped playing baseball after a ball thrown by a pitcher nearly caused him a serious injury. This experience left Grisham with an abiding dislike of pitchers. 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''. Since moving to the
Charlottesville Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical pr ...
area, Grisham has become a supporter of
Virginia Cavaliers The Virginia Cavaliers, also known as ''Wahoos'' or ''Hoos'', are the athletic teams representing the University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, Charlottesville. The Cavaliers compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Assoc ...
athletics and is regularly seen sitting courtside at basketball games. Grisham also contributed to a $1.2 million donation to the Cavalier baseball team in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was used in the 2002 renovation of
Davenport Field Davenport Field at Disharoon Park is a baseball stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is the home field of the University of Virginia Cavaliers college baseball team. The stadium has a capacity of 5,074 and opened in 2002. The field is named ...

Davenport Field
. His son Ty played
college baseball College baseball is baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseba ...
for the
University of Virginia The University of Virginia (U.Va. or UVA) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisat ...
.


Political activism

Grisham is a member of the board of directors of the
Innocence Project Innocence Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, nonprofit legal organization that is committed to exonerating individuals who have been Miscarriage of justice, wrongly convicted, through the use of DNA testing and working to ref ...
, which campaigns to free and exonerate unjustly convicted people on the basis of DNA evidence. The Innocence Project contends 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. Grisham has appeared on ''
Dateline NBC ''Dateline NBC'' is a weekly American television newsmagazine '' 2512'', a monthly news magazine published in Réunion. A news magazine is a typed, printed, and published magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical public ...
'', ''
Bill Moyers Journal ''Bill Moyers Journal'' was an American television current affairs (news format), current affairs program that covered an array of current affairs and human issues, including economics, history, literature, religion, philosophy, science, and most ...
'' on
PBS The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster Public broadcasting involves , and other electronic media outlets whose primary mission is . In many countries of the world, comes from governments, especially vi ...
, and other programs. He wrote for ''The New York Times'' in 2013 about an unjustly held prisoner at Guantanamo. Grisham opposes
capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

capital punishment
, a position very strongly manifested in the plot of '' The Confession''. He 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 he 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. He went on to clarify that he was defending a former friend from law school who was caught in a sting thinking he was looking at adult porn but it was in reality sixteen- and seventeen-year-old minors and went on to add, "I have no sympathy for real pedophiles. God, please lock those people up." "Anyone who harms a child for profit or pleasure.... Should be punished to the fullest extent of the law." 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 at the University of Mississippi School of Law 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 Flags of the Confederate States of America, a Confederate flag be removed. He co-authored the letter with author Greg Iles; the pair contacted various public figures from Mississippi for support. Grisham supported Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016.


Awards and honors

*1993 Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement *2005 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award *2007 British Book Awards, 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''


Bibliography

A complete listing of works by John Grisham:''Denotes novels not in the legal genre''


Novels

* '' A Time to Kill'' (1989) * '' The Firm'' (1991) * ''
The Pelican Brief ''The Pelican Brief'' is a legal-suspense thriller by John Grisham John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist, best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been tra ...
'' (1992) * '' The Client'' (1993) * '' The Chamber'' (1994) * '' The Rainmaker'' (1995) * ''
The Runaway Jury ''The Runaway Jury'' is a legal thriller novel written by American author John Grisham. It was Grisham's seventh novel. The hardcover first edition was published by Doubleday Books in 1996 (). Pearson Longman released the graded reader edition in ...
'' (1996) * '' The Partner'' (1997) * ''The Street Lawyer'' (1998) * ''The Testament (John Grisham novel), The Testament'' (1999) * ''The Brethren (Grisham novel), The Brethren'' (2000) * ''
A Painted House ''A Painted House'' is a 2001 novel by American author John Grisham. It was made into a television film in 2003, starring Scott Glenn and Logan Lerman. Inspired by his childhood in Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Sout ...
'' (2001) * ''
Skipping Christmas ''Skipping Christmas'' is a comedic novel by John Grisham. It was published by Doubleday (publisher), Doubleday on November 6, 2001 and reached #1 on New York Times Best-Seller, ''The New York Times'' Best-Seller List on December 9 that year. The ...
'' (2001) * '' The Summons'' (2002) * ''The King of Torts'' (2003) * ''Bleachers (novel), Bleachers'' (2003) * ''
The Last Juror ''The Last Juror'' is a 2004 legal thriller novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, ...
'' (2004) * ''
The Broker ''The Broker'' is a suspense novel written by American author John Grisham and published in the United States on January 11, 2005. The novel follows the story of Joel Backman, a newly pardoned prisoner who had tried to broker a deal to sell the ...

The Broker
'' (2005) * ''Playing for Pizza'' (2007) * ''The Appeal'' (2008) * ''The Associate (novel), The Associate'' (2009) * '' The Confession'' (2010) * '' The Litigators'' (2011) * ''
Calico Joe ''Calico Joe'' is John Grisham's first baseball novel. It was released on April 10, 2012. The book's style mixes fact and fiction - introducing fictional players into well-known actual teams such as the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs and lets ...
'' (2012) * ''The Racketeer (novel), The Racketeer'' (2012) * '' Sycamore Row'' (2013) * ''Gray Mountain (John Grisham novel), Gray Mountain'' (2014) * '' Rogue Lawyer'' (2015) * ''The Whistler (novel), The Whistler'' (2016) * ''Camino Island'' (2017) * ''The Rooster Bar'' (2017) * '' The Reckoning'' (2018) * ''The Guardians'' (2019) * ''Camino Winds'' (2020) * '' A Time for Mercy'' (2020) * ''Sooley'' (2021) * ''The Judge's List'' (2021)


Children's legal thrillers

* ''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) * ''Theodore Boone: The Accomplice'' (2019)


Short stories

* " Ford County" (2009) * "The Tumor" (2016) * "Partners" (2016) * "Witness to a Trial" (2016)


Audiobooks

* ''Bleachers'' (Audible (store), Audible, 2003, read by Grisham) * ''Ford County: Stories'' (Audible (store), Audible, 2009, read by Grisham)


Non-fiction

* ''The Wavedancer Benefit: A Tribute to Frank Muller'' (2002) — with Pat Conroy, Stephen King, and Peter Straub * ''The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town'' (2006) — story of Ronald Williamson, Ronald "Ron" Keith Williamson * ''Don't Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Day Jobs they Quit'' (2010) — with various authors


Adaptations


Feature films

* ''The Firm (1993 film), The Firm'' (1993)John Grisham Movies
Jgrisham.com. Retrieved on December 9, 2011.
* ''
The Pelican Brief ''The Pelican Brief'' is a legal-suspense thriller by John Grisham John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist, best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been tra ...
'' (1993) * '' The Client'' (1994) * ''A Time to Kill (1996 film), A Time to Kill'' (1996) * ''The Chamber (1996 film), The Chamber'' (1996) * ''The Rainmaker (1997 film), The Rainmaker'' (1997) * ''The Gingerbread Man (film), The Gingerbread Man'' (1998) * ''A Painted House (film), A Painted House'' (2003) television film * ''Runaway Jury'' (2003) * ''
Mickey Mickey is a given name and nickname, almost always masculine and often a short form (hypocorism A hypocorism ( or ; from Ancient Greek: (), from (), 'to call by pet names') or pet name is a name used to show affection for a person or obje ...
'' (2004) * ''Christmas with the Kranks'' (2004)


Television

* ''The Client (TV series), The Client'' (1995–1996) 1 season, 20 episodes * ''The Street Lawyer'' (2003) TV pilot * ''The Firm (2012 TV series), The Firm'' (2011–2012) 1 season, 22 episodes * ''The Innocent Man (2018 TV series), The Innocent Man'' (2018) miniseries, 6 episodes


See also

* List of bestselling novels in the United States


References


External links

* * *
InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse: John Grisham
(TV Interview)
Donald E. Wilkes Jr."Kafka (and Grisham) in Oklahoma"
''Flagpole Magazine'', February 7, 2007, pg 9. {{DEFAULTSORT:Grisham, John 1955 births American Christian missionaries American thriller writers American male novelists Mississippi State University alumni University of Mississippi alumni Living people Members of the Mississippi House of Representatives Arkansas Democrats Mississippi Democrats Mississippi lawyers University of Mississippi School of Law alumni Novelists from Mississippi Writers from Arkansas People from Jonesboro, Arkansas People from Southaven, Mississippi People from Oxford, Mississippi 20th-century American lawyers Bancarella Prize winners 20th-century American novelists 21st-century American novelists Wrongful conviction advocacy Evangelical writers 20th-century American politicians 20th-century American male writers 21st-century American male writers Novelists from Virginia