John Green Biography & Facts
John Michael Green (born August 24, 1977) is an American author, YouTube content creator, podcaster, and philanthropist. His books have more than 50 million copies in print worldwide, including The Fault in Our Stars (2012), which is one of the best-selling books of all time. Green's rapid rise to fame and idiosyncratic voice are credited with creating a major shift in the young adult fiction market. Aside from being a novelist, Green is well known for his work in online video, most notably his YouTube ventures with his brother Hank Green.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Green was raised in Orlando, Florida, before attending boarding school outside of Birmingham, Alabama, graduating in 1995. He attended Kenyon College, graduating with a double major in English and religious studies in 2000. Green then spent six months as a student chaplain at a children's hospital. He was deeply affected by the difficult experience, which later partially inspired The Fault in Our Stars. Green reconsidered his path and began working at Booklist in Chicago while writing his first novel. His debut novel Looking for Alaska (2005) was awarded the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award. While living in New York City, Green published his second novel, An Abundance of Katherines (2006), which became a Printz Honor book. Starting on January 1, 2007, John and his brother Hank launched the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel, a series of vlogs submitted to one another on alternating weekdays; the videos spawned an active online-based community called Nerdfighteria and an annual telethon-style fundraiser called Project for Awesome, both of which have persisted and grown over time.
John moved back to Indianapolis in 2007, and published three novels over the next three years: Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (2008, with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle), his third solo novel, Paper Towns (2008), and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (2010, with David Levithan). From 2010 to 2013, John and Hank launched several online video projects: VidCon, an annual conference for the online video community; Crash Course (2011–present), a wide-ranging educational channel; and Subbable, a crowdfunding platform which was purchased by Patreon in 2015. Green's 2012 novel, The Fault in Our Stars, proved to be a massive success. The book created a passionate fan base of readers and debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list for children's chapter books, remaining in the top ten for over two-and-a-half years. The 2014 film adaptation was also a commercial and critical success, leading to several other film and television adaptations of his work. That same year, Green was included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2015, the weekly comedy podcast Dear Hank & John (2015–present) debuted, co-hosted by the Green brothers.
Green's subsequent projects, his novel Turtles All the Way Down (2017) and The Anthropocene Reviewed (2018–2021), dealt more directly with his own struggles with anxiety and obsessive–compulsive disorder. The Anthropocene Reviewed began as a podcast in January 2018, with Green reviewing different facets of the Anthropocene on a five-star scale. Green later adapted the essays into his first nonfiction book, The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet (2021). The essays were ordered chronologically through his life to give the approximate structure of a memoir. John has also collaborated with his wife, art curator Sarah Urist Green, on the video series The Art Assignment (2017–2020) and Ours Poetica (2019–present), which focus on visual art and poetry respectively. Since the mid-2010s, John Green has been a prominent supporter, fundraiser, and later trustee for Partners In Health and their goal of reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone.
Early life and education
John Michael Green was born on August 24, 1977, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Mike and Sydney Green. Within two months after he was born, his family moved to Michigan, then later Birmingham, Alabama, and finally to Orlando, Florida. There he attended Glenridge Middle School and Lake Highland Preparatory School. Green's father worked as the state director of The Nature Conservancy, and his mother, after being a stay-at-home mother, worked for a nonprofit called the Healthy Community Initiative. When he was 15, he started attending Indian Springs School outside of Birmingham, Alabama, graduating in 1995. While attending the preparatory school, Green became good friends with Daniel Alarcón, who would go on to become an author as well. Green's future wife Sarah Urist also attended Indian Springs at the same time as Green, though they did not become friends until they became reacquainted in the early 2000s.Green has characterized his upbringing by saying that, "although he had a happy childhood, he was not always a happy child." Green has struggled with severe anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder his whole life. He has also spoken about being bullied during high school and how it had made life as a teenager miserable for him.Green enrolled at Kenyon College in 1995 and graduated with a double major in English and religious studies in 2000. While attending the school, he befriended and was in a comedy troupe with Ransom Riggs. After graduation, Green spent about half a year working as a student chaplain at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, while enrolled at the University of Chicago Divinity School, although he never actually attended the school. He intended to become an Episcopal priest, but the traumatic experiences of working in a hospital with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses and injuries made him reconsider his path. Parts of his experience inspired him to become an author, and later to write The Fault in Our Stars. After his time as a chaplain, Green moved to Chicago where he briefly continued performing with his college comedy troupe.
Early career and novels (2001–2006)
Booklist magazine and Looking for Alaska
In 2001, Green was hired as an editorial assistant at the book review journal Booklist, later becoming a production editor. While there, he reviewed hundreds of books, particularly literary fiction and books about Islam or conjoined twins. He also wrote radio essays for NPR's All Things Considered and Chicago's public radio station WBEZ. He wrote essays for WBEZ after beginning an email correspondence with Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who became a close friend and mentor.Green met author Ilene Cooper while working at Booklist, whom he credited with breaking down the perceived barriers to attempt to write a novel, saying, "I saw that real people like Ilene wrote books; they weren't written in ivory towers." Cooper invited Green to lunch to discuss his future. She set a deadline for Green to present her with a draft of his first book, which Green failed to present to her twice over. Soon after September 11, 2001, Green was .... Discover the John Green popular books. Find the top 100 most popular John Green books.