Lee Child, the author of many explosive exciting crime thrillers (AKA Jim Grant) was born 29 October 1954. His novels follow the exploits of tough former American Military Policeman turned investigator Jack Reacher as he wonders the United States and gets himself embroiled in all sorts of trouble.
He was born in Coventry, England and his younger brother, Andrew Grant, is also a thriller novelist. His parents moved him and his three brothers to Handsworth Wood in Birmingham when he was four years old, so that the boys could get a better education and he attended Cherry Orchard Primary School in Handsworth Wood until the age of 11. Whereupon He attended King Edward’s School, Birmingham. In 1974, at age 20, Grant studied law at University of Sheffield, though he had no intention of entering the legal profession and, during his student days, worked backstage in a theatre.
After graduating, he worked in commercial television at Granada Television, in Manchester as a presentation director, where he was involved with shows including Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. Grant was involved in the transmission of more than 40,000 hours of programming for Granada, writing thousands of commercials and news stories. He worked at Granada from 1977–1995 and ended his career there with two years as a trade union shop steward.
He decided to start writing novels, after being made redundant from his job due to corporate restructuring, stating that they are “the purest form of entertainment.” Then In 1997, his first novel, Killing Floor, was published, and won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and in 1998 he moved to the United States Some books in the Reacher series are written in first person, while others are written in the third person. He has characterised the books as revenge stories – “Somebody does a very bad thing, and Reacher takes revenge” – driven by his anger at the downsizing at Granada. Although English, he deliberately chose to write American-style thrillers.
In 2007, Grant collaborated with 14 other writers to create the 17-part serial thriller The Chopin Manuscript, narrated by Alfred Molina. This was broadcast weekly on Audible.com between 25 September 2007 and 13 November 2007. Then On 30 June 2008, it was announced that Grant would be taking up a Visiting Professorship at the University of Sheffield from November 2008. In 2009, Grant funded 52 Jack Reacher scholarships for students at the university and Grant was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. In 2012, his novel One Shot was also adapted into Jack Reacher; an American thriller film starring Tom Cruise, in which He has a cameo appearance as a police desk sergeant in the film.