Patricia Cornwell was born Patricia Carroll Daniels, aka Patsy, on June 9, 1956 in Miami Florida. Her father was an appellate attorney and her mother a secretary. She has two brothers. When she was in grade school, the family minus dad, moved to North Carolina a couple of miles from Billy Graham. After her mother fell into deep depression, Patricia was placed in foster care.
In high school, Patricia played tennis on the boy’s team since there was no girl’s team. Even in college she had to play on the men’s team. Patricia wrote short stories and poems as a child but didn’t take writing serious until years later when she quit tennis at the age of 19.
She attended King’s College in Bristol, Tennessee and in 1979 received her BA in English Literature from Davidson College in North Carolina. She married Charles Cornwell, her college professor, who was 17 years older, but they divorced ten years later. They have no children.
Patricia started her career as a crime reporter then went on to work in the medical examiner’s office in Richmond Virginia. She published her first mystery, “Postmortem”, in 1990, winning several prestigious awards. She is now one of the top grossing female authors in the world.
As Patricia was growing up, Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife, was a mentor to her. Patricia wrote the commemorative book, “Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham” published in 1997.
While researching neuroscience, she met with Dr. Staci Gruber, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at McLean Hospital. They were married in 2005. Patricia says that she finally feels rooted somewhere and is outraged that same sex marriages are not allowed in all states. She acknowledged and dedicated her book, “Book of the Dead”, to Dr. Gruber. This book also won her the BCA Crime Thriller of the Year award for 2008.
Patricia and Fox 2000 are teaming up on a movie deal based on Patricia’s Scarpetta series. Angelina Jolie will play the part of the medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta. Patricia has also made a deal with the cable network, Lifetime, to adapt “At Risk” and “The Front”, her Winston Garano series.
Books by Patricia Cornwell:
Kay Scarpetta Series:
Body of Evidence (1991)
All That Remains (1992)
Cruel and Unusual (1993)
The Body Farm (1994)
From Potter’s Field (1994)
Cause of Death (1996
Point of Origin (1998)
Black Notice (1999)
The Last Precinct (2000)
Blow Fly (2003)
Book of the Dead (2007)
The Scarpetta Factor (2009)
Postmortem/Body of Evidence (omnibus) (1995)
Cruel and Unusual/The Body Farm/From Potters Field (omnibus)( 2000)
Cause of Death/Unnatural Exposure/Point of Origin (omnibus) (2002)
Andy Brazil Series:
Hornet’s Nest (1997)
Southern Cross (1999)
Isle of Dogs (2001)
Winston Garano Series:
At Risk (2006)
The Front (2008)
Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta’s Kitchen (2001)
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper-Case Closed (2002
Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham (1997)
Scarpetta’s Winter Table (1998
Life’s Little Fable (1999) A children’s book