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  • Was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas on February 8, 1955.
  • Is 6’ 1” (1.85 m) tall.
  • Married to Renee Jones Grisham (since May 8, 1981).
  • The Grishams have two children, Ty (born in 1984; a 2005 graduate of U.Va.) and Shea (born in 1986).
  • Has two brothers, Mark & Ken, and two sisters, Beth & Wendy.
  • His parents are retired and live in Northern Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains.
  • Bill Clinton is a distant cousin of Grisham’s.
  • Graduated Southaven High School in Southaven, MS in 1973.
  • Received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mississippi State University in 1977.
  • Earned his degree in law from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981.
  • Was a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society for land-grant and public colleges in the United States.
  • Was a lawyer before becoming a writer.
  • Returned to the courtroom to represent the family of a railroad brakeman who was killed on the job. Won the case (and over $650,000) for the family.
  • Sold “A Time to Kill” to a small publisher, Wynwood Press, who did a 5000-copy print run, then he bought the remaindered copies, which he sold himself.
  • Served two terms in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990.
  • Has written 22 books.
  • Has 14 titles in the top 150, more than anyone else, and the most weeks at No. 1: 100, topping Rowling at 70.
  • Books have sold 250 million copies worldwide in 40 languages, making him the best-selling author of the 1990s.
  • Holds the title for authoring a number one bestselling novel of the year for seven consecutive years, from 1994 to 2000.
  • Has 10 films that have been made from his books so far with an extra expected in 2012.
  • Has casting approval rights for movies based on his novels.
  • Has contributed over $400,000 to Democratic candidates since 1996.
  • Donated $4,600 to the Hillary Clinton campaign and $1,000 to the Barack Obama campaign in the 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Donated $50,000 to the Terry McAuliffe campaign in 2009.
  • Organized and coaches Little League baseball in Virginia.
  • The Grishams have six baseball fields on their property that they use for charity games and disadvantaged children.
  • Is a board member of The Innocence Project.
  • Is Oxford American magazine’s publisher, financier and patron saint since 1994.
  • His favorite author is John Le Carre.
  • Hotel Savoy in Florence is reported to be his favorite hotel in Italy (he wrote his novel “Playing for Pizza” at the hotel during an extended stay).
  • Has a hotel suite named after him — the One Ocean Resort in Jacksonville offers the John Grisham Suite with an Atlantic view.
  • Likes to smoke three or four premium cigars a week.

Book dates and ISBNs

  • A Time to Kill (1989) ISBN 0385470819
  • The Firm (1991) ISBN 0385416342
  • The Pelican Brief (1992) ISBN 0385421982
  • The Client (1993) ISBN 038542471X
  • The Chamber (1994) ISBN 0385424728
  • The Rainmaker (1995) ISBN 0385424736
  • The Runaway Jury (1996) ISBN 0385442943
  • The Partner (1997) ISBN 0385472951
  • The Street Lawyer (1998) ISBN 0385490992
  • The Testament (1999) ISBN 0385493800
  • The Brethren (2000) ISBN 0385497482
  • A Painted House (2001) ISBN 0385472951
  • Skipping Christmas (2001) ISBN 0385506244
  • The Summons (2002) ISBN 0385503822
  • The King of Torts (2003) ISBN 0385508042
  • Bleachers (2003) ISBN 0385511612
  • The Last Juror (2004) ISBN 0385510438
  • The Broker (2005) ISBN 0385510454
  • The Innocent Man (2006) ISBN 0385517238
  • Playing For Pizza (2007) ISBN 0385525001
  • The Appeal (2008) ISBN 0385515049
  • The Associate (2009) ISBN 0385517831

Sources: IMDB, Wikipedia


  • April 2, 2007 at 4:58 PM Dianne Smith Parrish

    I would love to talk to John or Johnny as we knew him in school in Parkin. I have pictures of us all in school. I wonder if he remembers me. The redhead. We had fun in Ms. Davidson’s and Ms. Horne’s classroom. I cannot remember is he was in my 4th grade class. I had Ms. Greenwood. Please tell me hello and give him my email address. Or my phone number 479-409-8957 Thanks. Dianne

  • December 17, 2007 at 1:33 PM wade bush

    I greatly enjoy your writing style and themes and I always have. In fact I remember in high school that even though you hated writing, you seemed to express yourself quite well and it semmed to be your greatest subject. I hope to be able to continue reading your works and to possibly talk to you again. Sincerely, Wade Bush

  • January 22, 2008 at 12:06 PM Hugh Jazz

    Hey John,

    You’re the man! I just finished An Innocent Man; that book should be mandatory reading for all district attorneys. I think that power corrupted Bill Petereson. I have prayed for Ron and I wish Dennis Fritz all the best.

  • January 26, 2008 at 10:54 AM Marla Doherty

    I admire that you promote themes of social justice in your work, and I enjoyed your interview last night with Bill Moyers. But you’re not backing the presidential candidate who stands most strongly in line with your values on the war, social justice, and reengaging with the world: John Edwards.

  • February 5, 2008 at 2:43 PM Clyde Flanagan,Jr.M.D.

    I have read all your books andenjoyed all.I am a Child Psychiatrist with special interest in chilhood traumas.AS a child,did you witness someone being killed?? this is a re-occurring theme in all your books. I would love to discuss this with you. CHF– Professor of Psychiatry,University of So.Carolina,School of Med.

  • May 28, 2008 at 5:35 PM Phyllis "Diana" Fuller Laughlin

    I use to sit next to you in Study Hall at Southaven High School.
    I am so thrilled you made it as a writer. Just wanted to say hello.
    I am a designer in Huntsville Al.
    Best wishes.

  • June 4, 2008 at 12:09 PM Ahmed Dodo

    Hello Mr J,
    Thanks for your wiitty ideas and for your thought provoking books. Just want to tell you that you are one of the best writer I have come across and believe me I have been oppurtuned to read many.
    Keep the witty scopes alive and stay lively.

  • July 7, 2008 at 6:02 PM erica Kees

    Dear readers and Mr Grisham,

    I am stunned and feeling quite sad after just finishing The Innocent man. How can we do something to help change the system and protect these innocent people on death row? In what ways can we help change the legal system while also bringing justice to the families of victims?


  • August 19, 2008 at 7:02 AM Ado Abubakar Bala

    Hi, Grisham. I am one of your fan here in Nigeria. I love and like your books so much. it indeed gave me fun and inspiration as a reader. kindly keep the pen flowin`. Cheers!

  • August 27, 2008 at 9:13 AM Dr. Amol

    Heyt JG,
    Read THE APPEAL & man u really shocked us. I mean y do bad guys win her? The End us not complete actually its not an end at all! Its fiction dude y does it have to be tweaked with reality crap? I am sorry Mr. JG butas an ardent fan of urs i had to get my feelings thru to u…….. plz sir, i come back home to ur buks and i dunt want them to be full of FAILURE FOR HEROES – the exact feelings i am trying to keep away from by immersing myself in ur buks. Plz dont kill the joy of fiction; of luking forward to triumph against all odds. Let the bad guys win in life but give hero the space they deserve in fiction. your buks inspire us dont take away my inspiration!

  • August 29, 2008 at 10:18 AM Laura Dehner

    Playing for Pizza was exactly the right mood for enjoying the last weeks of summer. Thank you! Please review the timing of the party on pages 81-83. An error?

  • October 11, 2008 at 2:43 AM Naina

    hi!! i am a huge fan and i just love your books
    it is only you who has a knack for making sure that the reader’s mind does not wander ….. i enjoyed reading a painted house the most
    wish you all the best for your upcoming books

  • October 24, 2008 at 2:25 PM Leslie Lloyd McDanquah

    Mr. john u are really a great writer and i will make sure your name remains in the minds of my lineage.i admire you a lot.stay blessed.

  • November 4, 2008 at 12:13 AM Bonita James

    Hi. I have been working as a private detective for cases under attorney RG. I am fascinated by his tenacity and wealth of knowledge in the law. Is that what made you use him in some of your novels? Also, I met Gerald, a friend you have in Southaven—he says hello. I also wanted to say thank you for your honesty in your writing and for helping those who need it the most. I see many bad things and am grateful to see good people care, in particular, have the grit and determination to write it down so we don’t forget some of the ugly things that have happened here in the south.

  • December 7, 2008 at 7:58 PM Tina Church

    We wear the battle boots in the front lines of the death penalty in Texas. In memory of Cameron Todd Willingham who was executed February 2004. Ask Barry Sheck he knows the case,I have the files.

  • December 13, 2008 at 6:16 PM Chad Cryer

    Mr. Grisham, you are my favorite author. I have your entire collection on my shelf. Reading the books have been an experience that I could share with many people. Keep up the good work buddy.

  • January 26, 2009 at 2:33 PM J. Lewis

    THE ASSOCIATE: Thought I had it figured out until the last chapter. Kind of anti-climatic and sad. It was a GREAT read up to that point, though.

  • January 26, 2009 at 2:36 PM JW Lewis

    OOPS! NOT the Associate…..THE APPEAL is the book I was refering to. I guess I’m too anxious to read the Associate.

  • February 14, 2009 at 12:54 PM Pam

    Which book has a list of rock N roll songs at the end?

  • April 1, 2009 at 10:19 AM Parker

    thank you for the wonderful books i am only 13 but i have to do a project on you and are loving your books

  • June 3, 2009 at 1:19 PM Ann Nelson

    Mr. Grisham ,I am enjoying reading “The Innocent Man”.I admire your writing.I respect that you write from a ground level knowledge of your profession.I respect the law, but this book makes me realize I should not take at face value what is reported or done by the law ,and that this book demonstrates how justice truly can be so denied someone because they have already made mistakes that make them a convenient target for accusation.

  • June 7, 2009 at 6:09 PM Kathie

    I have just finished my 14th book and always look forward to the next one. Fortunately our library has most of them. Tonight I will start #15 and each one is a delightful and full of suspense. By the list, I have a few more to go. Keep up the fantastic writing! You have a new fan!

  • June 8, 2009 at 11:00 AM Janet Yates Raper

    I am the 5th cousin of John Grisham on this dad’s side of the family. I am the grand-daughter of Jim J Yates, who lived in Monette AR. I would like to share information with him. Do you know how I can get in touch? Or if John prefers to contact me. Thanks so much, Janet Yates Raper

  • September 26, 2009 at 1:55 PM James R. Farrell

    Dear Mr Grisham you have to be one of the greatest writers to ever pick up a pen I have all of your 22 novels in my personal libary. Please keep on writting I’ve enjoyed all of your novels.

  • October 23, 2009 at 1:00 AM Jack DArnell

    My wife and I volunteered to do some work on a church in Lepanto, AR. We were so thrilled to see the sign saying ,‘A Painted HOuse’ by John Grisham. The movie was filmed here. The work was rewarding, but we were much more thrilled when Hazel Carson gave us a guided tour of the house and barn.
    We have read everything John has written.

  • November 2, 2009 at 4:26 PM Scott Donaldson

    everyone should really take notice that this site is an unofficial website. I’m fairly certain this doesn’t have any direct contact with Mr.Grisham.

  • November 26, 2009 at 9:30 PM Ben Grisham

    Hello John,
    I was wondering if you and I could be related.My family to is from Jonesboro. My fathers name was Noel Howard Grisham.His brother’s name was Floyd. I have a half brother named Donnie Jo Grisham. I also have three half sisters Shirley Grisham (deceased),Betty Jean, and Jeanette.Their mother’s name was Sadie. The last I remembered from my childhood was that my aunt Lena and uncle Bill were still in Arkansas.And I would also like to say that you are an excellent writer. Keep up the great work. Thank you for reading. God bless

    Ben Grisham

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