James Brendan Patterson is an American world’s bestselling author for kids and adults. He has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today with his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Private, NYPD Red, Daniel X, Maximum Ride, and Middle School series.
His books have sold more than 400 million copies, and he was the first person to sell 1 million e-books. Patterson also holds the Guinness World Record for the #1 New York Times bestsellers (The record was fixed in “The Guinness World Records 2010,”).
In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, Patterson also writes children’s, middle-grade, and young-adult fiction and he is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists.
Moreover, James Patterson has co-written fiction with former president Bill Clinton and the country music superstar Dolly Parton.
Patterson has won numerous literary awards. For his prodigious imagination and championship of literacy in America, Patterson was awarded the 2019 National Humanities Medal. The National Book Foundation presented him with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and he is also the recipient of an Edgar Award and nine Emmy Awards.
Patterson was born in a working-class family of Irish descent in Newburgh, New York. He graduated summa cum laude with both a B.A. in English from Manhattan College and an M.A. in English from Vanderbilt University.
His debut novel was published in 1976. The novel called The Thomas Berryman Number features his character Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist formerly of Washington DC. Metropolitan Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation. This detective series became his most popular and best-selling in the United States.
Patterson has written more than 200 novels since 1976. The novelist says he might have up to 30 projects on the go at any one time. “Some Hollywood, some children’s books, a couple of non-fiction. But I don’t find it overwhelming.”
Currently, James Patterson lives in Florida with his family.
Interesting fact: in 2014, James Patterson gave away $1 million of his own money to independent bookstores. They could do whatever they wanted with the grants, which ranged from $2,000 to $15,000.