John Ray Grisham, Jr. is an American lawyer, politician, and author, best known for his popular legal thrillers.
John Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981 and practiced criminal law for about a decade. He also served in the House of Representatives in Mississippi from January 1984 to September 1990. He began writing his first novel, A Time to Kill, in 1984, and it was published in June 1989.
As of 2012, his books had sold over 275 million copies worldwide. A Galaxy British Book Awards winner, Grisham is one of only three authors to sell 2 million copies on a first printing, the others being Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowling.
Grisham's first bestseller was The Firm. Released in 1991, it sold more than seven million copies. The book was later adapted into a feature film, of the same name starring Tom Cruise in 1993, and a TV series in 2012 which "continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 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, The Pelican Brief, Skipping Christmas, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and A Time to Kill. His books have been translated into 29 languages and published worldwide.