30 Facts To Know About James Patterson – The Creator of Fan-Favorite Fictional Detective Alex Cross


James Brendan Patterson, the famous American author, was born on March 22, 1947 in Newburgh, New York, to Charles Patterson and Isabelle (Morris). He is widely recognized for his novels about the fictional psychologist Alex Cross. Here are 3o interesting facts about the author:

  1. Patterson holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers, a total of 67 out 114 bestselling novels, as of 2017. He is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times Bestsellers list for the adult and children category.
  2. His first book “The Thomas Berryman Number,” released in 1976, bought him an Edgar Award, the highest honor for mystery writers.
  3. He donated over one million books to students from some of the most under-resourced schools in the country. He has also established more than 400 Teacher Education Scholarships at around 24 colleges and universities through the United States.
  4. He was awarded the 2015 Literarian Award by the National Book Foundation for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
  5. He runs the College Book Bucks scholarship program that awards high school seniors with gift certificates to pay for books at independent bookstores affiliated with IndieBound.
  6. He graduated with the highest honor in B.A English from Manhattan College. He quit college at Vanderbilt after a year at the graduate program to acquire a job as junior copywriter in J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency. He eventually became the CEO of the agency.
  7. As of 2016, approximately 1 out of every 17 hardcovers sold account for Patterson’s novels in the United States.
  8. He has donated around $1.75 million to school libraries and $1 million to independent bookstores along with nearly $250,000 as holiday bonuses to employees in individual bookstore.
  9. He has received several awards for his writing, including the International Thriller of the Year award, the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, and the Children's Choice Book Award for Author of the Year.
  10. He started a new initiative website, to help librarians, parents, and teachers to find the best books for their children. The site was awarded the American Library Association's Great Websites for Kids award and the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize.
  11. He holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Board for WXEL-TV, South Florida's public television station.
  12. In the year 2016, he was ranked as the "Highest-Paid Author" for the third consecutive time by Forbes, with a total earning of $95 million.
  13. He claims Evan S. Connell's 1959 debut novel “Mrs. Bridge,” to be his greatest influence.
  14. He has many a times been criticized for being more focused on making money than focusing on the craft. He has also been criticized for co-authoring many of his books.
  15. With a total of 147 novels since his debut novel in 1976, his books have sold around 305 million copies worldwide.
  16. Patterson’s novels have reportedly sold more copies than the novels of John Grisham, Dan Brown and Stephen King combined, as of 2017.
  17. He donated more than $26 million to the University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University, and Manhattan College – his and his wife Sue’s alma maters.
  18. In the year 2016, in his speech at Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, he told the students "Never become a writer, you'll never make it." The school teachers were furious with this statement as they felt his words would discourage students who were writing novels at the time.
  19. Stephen King, in an interview with the USA Weekend, called Patterson to be "a terrible writer but he's very successful." Regarding this Patterson claimed in a Wall Street Journal interview that King had been taking shots at him for years and that his approach towards it will be totally opposite – “to heap praise.”
  20. He made a cameo appearance in the 2016 movie “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life,” based on his novel of the same name. He played the role of the manager in a restaurant.
  21. He is the first author in the history of NovelTracker to have two books in the top-ten list simultaneously.
  22. Patterson launched a new children’s book imprint called JIMMY Patterson at Little, Brown, that focuses on a single goal – turning every kid into a lifelong reader. The imprint provides different programs, resources and strategies to parents, librarians, teachers and booksellers.
  23. He is the founding partner of the Duchess of Cornwall of the Children's Reading Fund in the United Kingdom.
  24. His breakout novel “Along Came a Spider,” in which he introduced Alex Cross, a former forensic psychologist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police, was published in 1976. This was followed by a number of famous titles in the Alex Cross series, which has been the top-selling investigative novel series for the past ten years.
  25. He married Susan Lori Solie in 1997 and the duo had a son named Jack born in 1998. He resides with his family in Palm Beach, Florida.
  26. In the year 2008, Patterson was named as the most borrowed author in Britain's libraries, replacing Jacqueline Wilson. He managed to retain the position until 2013.
  27. He has donated around 650,000 books to U.S. soldiers at home and overseas.
  28. In the middle schools in Palm Beach County, he has been sponsoring after-school reading programs, where he has donated up to 1000 books.
  29. His 2013 ads titled “Who Will Save Our Books? Our Bookstores? Our Libraries?” which he claims to be an attempt to "stir the pot a little bit," drew mixed reactions. Digital Book World said the ads to be "refreshing, really. And brave," while the President of the American Library Association, Maureen Sullivan said she has to thank him for his effort.
  30. Patterson holds the Guinness World Record for being the first author to have sold 1 million e-books, as of 2017.

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