40 Facts About John Grisham


John Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981.


John Grisham practised criminal law for about a decade and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990.


John Grisham's father was a construction worker and a cotton farmer, and his mother was a homemaker.


When John Grisham was four years old, his family settled in Southaven, Mississippi, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.


John Grisham drew on his childhood experiences for his novel A Painted House.


John Grisham started working for a plant nursery as a teenager, watering bushes for $1.00 an hour.


John Grisham was promoted to a fence crew for $1.50 an hour.


John Grisham wrote about the job: "there was no future in it".


At 16, John Grisham took a job with a plumbing contractor but says he "never drew inspiration from that miserable work".


John Grisham did not come out until after the police had detained the perpetrators.


John Grisham attended the Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi and later attended Delta State University in Cleveland.


John Grisham later enrolled in the University of Mississippi School of Law to become a tax lawyer, but his interest shifted to general civil litigation.


John Grisham practiced law for about a decade and won election as a Democrat to the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990.


John Grisham challenged the incumbent after becoming embarrassed by Mississippi's national reputation and inspired by the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1982.


John Grisham represented the 7th District, which included DeSoto County, Mississippi.


John Grisham supported Representative Ed Perry's unsuccessful bid for the House speakership in 1987.


John Grisham later reflected that if Perry had become speaker he might have been given more committee responsibilities and thus unable to write.


John 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 represent the family of a railroad worker who was killed on the job.


John Grisham said a case that inspired his first novel came in 1984, but it was not his case.


John Grisham heard a 12-year-old girl telling a jury what had happened to her.


The day after John Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on his second novel, The Firm.


In 2001 John Grisham did not have the bestselling book of the year but he had both the second and third books on the list with Skipping Christmas and A Painted House.


John Grisham wrote the original screenplay for and produced the 2004 baseball movie Mickey, 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, John Grisham started writing a series of legal thrillers for children.


John Grisham stated that it was his daughter, Shea, who inspired him to write the Theodore Boone series.


John Grisham is a member of the University Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, itself a constituent of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.


John Grisham opposes a literalist understanding of the Bible, and endorses the American separation of church and state.


John Grisham has a lifelong passion for baseball, demonstrated partly by his support of Little League activities in both Oxford, Mississippi, and in Charlottesville.


In 1996, John Grisham built a $3.8 million youth baseball complex.


John Grisham 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 area, John Grisham has become a supporter of Virginia Cavaliers athletics and is regularly seen sitting courtside at basketball games.


John Grisham 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.


John Grisham is a member of the board of directors of the Innocence Project, which campaigns to free and exonerate unjustly convicted people on the basis of DNA evidence.


John Grisham has testified before Congress on behalf of the Innocence Project.


John Grisham has appeared on Dateline NBC, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, and other programs.


John Grisham wrote for The New York Times in 2013 about an unjustly held prisoner at Guantanamo.


John Grisham opposes capital punishment, a position very strongly manifested in the plot of The Confession.


John Grisham believes that prison rates in the United States are excessive, and the justice system is "locking up far too many people".


John Grisham co-authored the letter with author Greg Iles; the pair contacted various public figures from Mississippi for support.