Lawyer Biography: John Grisham Biographical Information

John Grisham - Writer And Lawyer Biography


Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small law firm, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.
John Grisham,Biographical,Bio,Biography,Short,Life,Quotes,Facts,Information

A lawyer by profession and an author by fame, John Grisham is the brilliant American writer of numerous novels best known for his legal thrillers. He was born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas to parents who were never formally educated but encouraged their son to pursue an education and prepare himself for college. Grisham settled with his parents in Southaven where he spent his younger years.


A young Grisham could not have imagined of becoming a writer since he had not developed any interest in writing until after starting a professional career in law. John drifted through three different colleges before finally obtaining a degree. He attended the Mississippi State University in 1971 and received a BS degree in accounting and in 1981 graduated from the University Of Mississippi School Of Law to become a tax lawyer. However, he changed his mind and shifted interest in general civil litigation. Earning a Juris Doctor degree, John specialized in criminal law. He established a small legal practice of his own upon returning to Southaven.

A case Grisham has been closely observing inspired him to start writing his first novel, A Time to Kill (1989). Rejected by 28 publishers, the book finally found an unknown publisher who agreed to publish a limited number of copies. Without the benefit of marketing by an established publisher, John was forced to directly request booksellers to stock his book. Despite a sale of only 5000 copies, Grisham quickly began work on a second novel, The Firm. He closed his office in Southaven and moved to Oxford, Mississippi with his family to give them more time and concentrate on his writing. The Firm (1991) secured the position of the bestselling novel of 1991 and maintained its place on The New York Times’ bestsellers list for 47 weeks.

Grisham continued to writer legal thrillers and produced brilliantly written works such as The Client (1993), The Chamber (1994), The Runaway Jury (1996), The Partner (1997), The Street Lawyer (1998), The Testament (1999), The Summons (2002), The Last Juror (2004), The Broker (2005), The Appeal (2008), The Associate (2009), The Confession (2010) and The Litigators (2011). 2001 onwards, Grisham broadened his scope of writing from law to other subjects, particularly his lifelong passion of baseball. A Painted House (2001) was his first non-legal book followed by Skipping Christmas (2001), Bleachers (2003) and Playing for Pizza (2007).

Today, John Grisham continues to write bestselling novels. He lives with his wife and two children in homes he has in Oxford, Mississippi and Charlottesville, Virginia.


John Grisham Interesting Facts


John Grisham was awarded the the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award by the Tulsa Library Trust in 2005. 

John Grisham 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.

When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

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.

He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.


John Grisham Quotes


"Nobody wants to read about the honest lawyer down the street who does real estate loans and wills. If you want to sell books, you have to write about the interesting lawyers - the guys who steal all the money and take off. That's the fun stuff."

"I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial."

"I was a lawyer for 10 years - a short time, but it molded me into who I am. My clients were little people fighting big corporations, so it was a natural thing to not only represent the little guy but also to pull for him - it's the American way."

"Wrongful convictions happen every week in every state in this country. And they happen for all the same reasons. Sloppy police work. Eyewitness identification is the most - is the worst type almost. Because it's wrong about half the time. Think about that."


John Grisham Novels In Chronological Order

Below is a list of John Grisham novels in chronological order. Also, you can see which John Grisham books are adapted to movies.

  • A Time to Kill (1989) Movie 1996.
  • The Firm (1991) Movie 1993.
  • The Pelican Brief (1992) Movie 1993.
  • The Client (1993) Movie 1994.
  • The Chamber (1994) Movie 1996.
  • The Rainmaker (1995) Movie 1997.
  • The Runaway Jury (1996) Movie 2003.
  • The Partner (1997)
  • The Street Lawyer (1998) TV Movie 2003.
  • The Testament (1999)
  • The Brethren (2000)
  • A Painted House (2001)
  • Skipping Christmas (2001) Movie Christmas with the Kranks 2004.
  • The Summons (2002)
  • The King of Torts (2003)
  • Bleachers (2003)
  • The Last Juror (2004)
  • The Broker (2005)
  • Playing for Pizza (2007)
  • The Appeal (2008)
  • The Associate (2009)
  • The Confession (2010)
  • The Litigators (2011)
  • Calico Joe (2012)
  • The Racketeer (2012)
  • Sycamore Row (2013)

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