Michael Connelly Biography & Facts
Michael Joseph Connelly (born July 21, 1956) is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller.
Connelly is the bestselling author of 31 novels and one work of non-fiction, with over 74 million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into 40 languages. His first novel, The Black Echo, won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly's 1997 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of Connelly's novel The Lincoln Lawyer starred Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. Connelly was the President of the Mystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2004.
Connelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second oldest child of W. Michael Connelly, a property developer, and Mary Connelly, a homemaker. He is of Irish ancestry. According to Connelly, his father was a frustrated artist who encouraged his children to want to succeed in life and was a risk taker who alternated between success and failure in his pursuit of a career. Connelly's mother was a fan of crime fiction and introduced her son to the world of mystery novels.At age 12, Connelly moved with his family from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School. At age 16, Connelly's interest in crime and mystery escalated when, on his way home from his work as a hotel dishwasher, he witnessed a man throw an object into a hedge. Connelly decided to investigate and found that the object was a gun wrapped in a lumberjack shirt. After putting the gun back, he followed the man to a bar and then left to go home to tell his father. Later that night, Connelly brought the police down to the bar, but the man was already gone. This event introduced Connelly to the world of police officers and their lives, impressing him with the way they worked.Connelly had planned on following his father's early choice of career in building construction and started out at the University of Florida in Gainesville, at the Rinker School of Building Construction, studying construction management. After earning grades that were lower than expected, Connelly went to see Robert Altman's film The Long Goodbye (1973). The film, based on Raymond Chandler's eponymous 1953 novel, inspired Connelly to want to become a mystery writer. Connelly went home and read all of Chandler's works featuring Philip Marlowe, and decided to transfer to the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, major in journalism, and minor in creative writing.
After graduating from the University of Florida in 1980, Connelly got a job as a crime beat writer at the Daytona Beach News Journal, where he worked for almost two years until he went to the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel in 1981. There, he covered the crime beat during the South Florida cocaine wars. He stayed with the paper for a few years and in 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of the 1985 Delta Flight 191 plane crash, which story earned Connelly a place as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The honor also brought Connelly a job as a crime reporter at the Los Angeles Times. He moved to California in 1987 with his wife Linda McCaleb, whom he met while in college and married in April 1984.After moving to Los Angeles, Connelly went to see High Tower Court where Raymond Chandler's character Philip Marlowe had lived (in his 1942 novel The High Window), and Robert Altman had used for his film The Long Goodbye (1973). Connelly got the manager of the building to promise to phone him if the apartment ever became available. Ten years later, the manager tracked Connelly down, and Connelly decided to rent the place. This apartment served as a place to write for several years.After three years at the Los Angeles Times, Connelly wrote his first published novel, The Black Echo (1992), after previously writing two unfinished novels that he did not attempt to get published. He sold The Black Echo to Little, Brown to be published in 1992 and won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for best first novel. The book is partly based on a true crime and is the first one featuring Connelly's primary recurring character, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, a man who, according to Connelly, shares few similarities with the author himself. Connelly named Bosch after the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, known for his paintings full of sin and redemption, such as the painting Hell, a copy of which hangs on the office wall behind Connelly's computer. Connelly describes his own work as a big canvas with all the characters of his books floating across it as currents on a painting. Sometimes they are bound to collide, creating cross currents. This is something that Connelly creates by bringing back characters from previous books and letting them play a part in books written five or six years after first being introduced.Connelly went on to write three more novels about Detective Bosch — The Black Ice (1993), The Concrete Blonde (1994), and The Last Coyote (1995) — before quitting his job as a reporter to write full-time.
Michael Connelly received a good deal of publicity in 1994, when President Bill Clinton came out of a bookstore carrying a copy of The Concrete Blonde in front of the waiting cameras. A meeting was set up between the two at Los Angeles International Airport.In 1996, Connelly wrote The Poet, his first book not to feature Bosch, instead the protagonist was reporter Jack McEvoy. The book was a success. In 1997, Connelly returned to Bosch in Trunk Music before writing another book, Blood Work (1997), about a different character, FBI agent Terry McCaleb. Blood Work was made into a film in 2002, directed by Clint Eastwood, who also played McCaleb, an agent with a transplanted heart, in pursuit of his donor's murderer. The book came together after one of Connelly's friends had a heart transplant and he saw what his friend was going through with survivor's guilt after the surgery. When asked if he had anything against the changes made to fit the big screen, Connelly simply replied: "If you take their money, it's their turn to tell the story".Connelly wrote another book featuring Bosch, Angels Flight (1999), before writing Void Moon (2000), a free-standing book about Las Vegas thief Cassie Black. In 2001, A Darkness More Than Night was published, in which Connelly united Bosch and McCaleb to solve a crime together, before releasing two books in 2002. The first, City of Bones, was the eighth Bosch novel, and the other, Chasing the Dime, was a non-series novel. In 2001, Connelly left California for Tampa Bay, Florida, together with his wife and daughter, so that both he and his wife could be closer to .... Discover the Michael Connelly popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Michael Connelly books.