Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent (1987), is born on this day in Chicago.
Turow started writing as a child, inspired by his mother, who wrote articles for local publications outside Chicago. He attended Amherst College, then studied and taught fiction at Stanford before enrolling in Harvard Law School. Based on his experiences at Harvard, he wrote One L: What They Really Teach You at Harvard Law School (1977). He joined the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago after law school, working on a sting operation to convict corrupt lawyers and judges. After eight years on the project, he left to practice criminal defense at a large Chicago law firm. While holding both jobs, he commuted to work on the train, where he wrote his first novel, Presumed Innocent, in a spiral notebook. The book was made into a hit movie in 1990 starring Harrison Ford. Turow continued to work part time as an attorney while turning out more bestsellers, including The Burden of Proof (1990), Pleading Guilty (1993), The Laws of Our Fathers (1996), Personal Injuries (1999), Reversible Errors (2002), Ordinary Heroes (2005), Limitations (2006), and Innocent (2010).
Turow is a pioneer in the legal thriller genre, paving the way for other bestselling writers such as John Grisham.