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Lee Child (born 1954) is the pen name of British thriller writer Jim Grant. His wife Jane is a New Yorker and they currently live in New York state. His first novel, Killing Floor, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel.
Each of Child's novels follows the adventures of a former American Military Policeman named Jack Reacher who is wandering the United States. Though Grant was born in Coventry, England, his parents moved him and his three brothers to Handsworth Wood in Birmingham when he was four years old so they could get a better education. He attended King Edward's School, Birmingham - also the alma mater of J. R. R. Tolkien and Enoch Powell. His father was a civil servant and his younger brother Andrew Grant is also a thriller novelist.
Some of Grant's early influences include Enid Blyton, W.E. Johns, and Alistair Maclean.
In 1974 at age 20, Grant attended law school in Sheffield at Sheffield University, though he had no intention of entering the legal profession and, during his student days, worked backstage in a theatre. Instead, he took a job in commercial television after graduating.
Grant joined Granada Television, part of the UK's ITV Network, in Manchester as presentation director. There he was involved with shows including Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown (TV series), Prime Suspect, and Cracker. Grant was involved in the transmission of more than 40,000 hours of programming for Granada, writing thousands of commercials, news stories, and trailers. He stayed with Granada 1977-1995 and ended his career there with two years as a trade union shop steward.
After being let go from his job because of corporate restructuring, he decided he wanted to start writing novels, stating they are "the purest form of entertainment." In 1997 his first novel, Killing Floor, was published and he moved to the US in the summer of 1998.
He has said that he chose the name 'Reacher' for the central character in his novels because he is himself tall and, in a supermarket, his wife Jane told him: "Hey, if this writing thing doesn't pan out, you could always be a reacher in a supermarket."... "I thought, Reacher — good name." Some books in the Reacher series are written in first person, while others are written in the third person.
In 2007, Grant collaborated with 14 other writers to create the 17-part serial thriller "The Chopin Manuscript" narrated by Alfred Molina that was broadcast weekly on Audible.com from 25 September 2007 to 13 November 2007.
On 30 June 2008, it was announced that Lee Child would be taking up a Visiting Professorship at the University of Sheffield in the UK from November 2008. In 2009, Child funded 52 Jack Reacher scholarships for students at the university.Information source: wikipedia