John Grisham was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on February 8, 1955. He received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. He was admitted to the bar in Mississippi in 1981 after earning his law degree from the University of Mississippi, specializing in criminal law. While a lawyer in private practice in Southaven, Mississippi, Grisham served as a Democrat in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 until 1990. He left the law and politics to become a full-time author.
His first novel, A Time to Kill, was published in 1989. His other novels include The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, Calico Joe, The Racketeer, Gray Mountain, and The Rogue Lawyer. Several of his novels were adapted into films including The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, Skipping Christmas, The Confession, Theodore Boone: The Abduction, and The Litigators.