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John Ray Grisham (born February 8, 1955) is an American ex-politician, retired attorney and novelist, best known for his works of modern legal drama. As of 2008, his books have sold over 250 million copies worldwide. John Grisham, the second oldest of five siblings, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Southern Baptist parents of modest means. His father worked as a construction worker and a cotton farmer; his mother was a homemaker. After moving frequently, the family settled in 1967 in the town of Southaven in DeSoto County, Mississippi, where Grisham graduated from Southaven High School. He played as a quarterback for the school football team. Unlike the main character in his 2003 novel, Bleachers, he wasn`t an All-American football player. Encouraged by his mother, the young Grisham was an avid reader, and was especially influenced by the work of John Steinbeck whose clarity he admired.
In 1977 Grisham received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. Grisham tried out for the baseball team at Delta State University, but was cut by the coach, who was former Boston Red Sox pitcher, Dave Ferriss. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. During law school Grisham switched interests from tax law to criminal and general civil litigation. Upon graduation he entered a small-town general law practice for nearly a decade in Southaven, where he focused on criminal law and civil law representing a broad spectrum of clients. As a young attorney he spent much of his time in court proceedings.
Grisham describes himself as a "moderate Baptist," and has performed mission service for his church, notably in Brazil; that country provides the setting for two of his novels: The Testament, which has a strong religious theme; and The Partner. He lives with his wife Renée Jones and their two children, Ty and Shea. Grisham`s website states that the "family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm" outside Oxford, Mississippi, "and a home near Charlottesville, Virginia."
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John Ray Grisham, Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American lawyer, politician, and author, best known for his popular legal thrillers.
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