James Patterson was born in Newburgh, New York, on March 22, 1947. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1969 and received a M. A. from Vanderbilt University in 1970. His first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, was written while he was working in a mental institution and was rejected by 26 publishers before being published and winning the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery.
He is best known as the creator of Alex Cross, the police psychologist hero of such novels as Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls. Cross has been portrayed on the silver screen by Morgan Freeman. He also writes the Women's Murder Club series, the Michael Bennett series, the Maximum Ride series, Daniel X series, the Witch and Wizard series, BookShots series and the Middle School series for children. He has won numerous awards including the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice Award.
James Patterson introduced the Bookshots Series in 2016 which is advertised as All Thriller No Filler. The first book in the series, Cross Kill, made the New York Times Bestseller list in June 2016. The third and fourth books, The Trial, and Little Black Dress, made the New York Times Bestseller list in July 2016.
Patterson's novel, co-authored with Maxine Paetro, Woman of God, became a New York Times bestseller in 2016.