Ken Follett was born on June 5, 1949, in Cardiff, Wales. His father, Martin, a tax inspector, and his mother, Veenie, moved the family to London when he was 10 years old. He was raised in a strict Christian household. With little outside entertainment, he acquired an appreciation for books and storytelling.
Ken earned a bachelors degree in philosophy from the University of London in 1970. (In 1995, he was made a fellow of this college.) Ken took a three month post graduate course in journalism and moved back to Cardiff, Wales to pursue his career.
Ken Follett married Mary in 1968. They have a son and daughter, but later divorced.
Ken Follett worked as a journalist for the South Wales Echo for three years. Upon returning to London, he worked as a general assignment reporter for the London Evening News. He wrote stories in his spare time.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he says he sold one of his first stories for $500, which is the amount he owed to get his car fixed.
Although Ken Follett wrote two children’s books and several novels, he didn’t become a success until “Eye of the Needl
e,” his eleventh book, was published in 1978. He was only 27 years old. This book won the prestigious Edgar Award and was the first of several of his subsequent books to be made into films.
In 1974 Ken left journalism for publishing at Everest Books where he later became Deputy Managing director.
Ken Follett became involved in politics supporting the Labor Party. In 1984 Ken married Barbara Boer, a member of Parliament for Stevenage in Hertferdshire. He became stepfather to her three children by a previous spouse.
Even though Ken Follett’s novel, “Pillars of the Earth,” published in 1989, was a big hit, it became a sensation when Oprah Winfrey added it to her Book Club. Now finally after fans of his work begging him, there is a sequel, “World Without End.”
Ken is involved in many charities, National Year of Reading, Reading is Fundamental, The Dyslexia Institute, National Literary Trust,
the Welsh Academy, National Academy of Writing, and the Royal Academy of Arts to name a few.
Ken Follett and his wife make Stevenage their home. They also own a townhouse in London and a vacation home in Antigua.
Books by Ken Follett:
The Big Needle (1974)
The Big Black (1974)
The Big Hit (1975)
The Shakeout (1975)
The Bear Raid (1976)
Pillars of the Earth:
World Without End (1989)
World Without End (2007)
The Mystery Hideout (1976)
Amok King of Legend (1976) (written as Bernard L. Ross)
The Secret of Kellerman’s Studio (1976)
The Modigliani Scandal (1976) (written as Zachary Stone)
Paper Money (1977) (written as Zachary Stone)
Capricorn One (1978) (written as Bernard L. Ross)
Eye of the Needle (1978)
The Man from St. Petersburg (1982)
Lie Down With Lions (1985)
Night Over Water (1991)
A Dangerous Fortune (1993)
A Place Called Freedom (1995)
The Third Twin (1996)
The Hammer of Eden (1998)
Code to Zero (2000)
Hornet Flight (2002)
Under the Streets of Nice (1978) (with Louis Maurice)
On Wings of Eagles (1983)