Who is Dan Brown?

Diana Bocco

Dan Brown was born on 22 June 1964 in New Hampshire, USA. The oldest of three children, Brown grew up in a house where art had a heavy presence: his mother was a professional musician and his father wrote textbooks while teaching high-school math. This early influence proved vital to Brown's future, as he ended up pursuing a musical career and releasing two albums, one for adults and one for children. While in Los Angeles pursuing a career as a songwriter, Dan Brown met and marry Blythe Newlon, the director of the Director of the National Academy of Songwriters.

A portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci, whose works feature in Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code.
A portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci, whose works feature in Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code.

Dan Brown continued to produce music and later became an English teacher to support his family. It wasn't until 1994 that Brown started writing and publishing. In fact, the first few books to his credit were co-written with his wife and were all humorous books, such as 187 Men to Avoid: A Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman and The Bald Book.

Freemasonry plays a prominent role in Brown's novels.
Freemasonry plays a prominent role in Brown's novels.

With the publication of Digital Fortress in 1998, Dan Brown became a full time writer. Success, however, was still far away. His first four novels, including Angels & Demons, sold little over 10,000 copies, despite the heavy promotion set up by his wife. Dan Brown went on talk shows, gave hundreds of interviews, and became extremely active in the media. While subsequent books did better, it wasn't until 2003 that Dan Brown struck gold. The Da Vinci Code hit the New York Times Best Seller list during the first week of its release and it went on to sell over 60 million copies worldwide.

Dan Brown has never forgotten his love for music. When the film version of The Da Vinci Code came out, he was quoted as producing one song for the film's soundtrack. Dan Brown has also donated over 2 million dollars to Phillips Exeter Academy, his Alma matter, in honor of his father, who taught at the school until his retirement in 1968.

Dan Brown is currently at work in a novel titled The Solomon Key, set to be published in 2007. The book will follow Robert Langdon, the character from The Da Vinci Code, in his pursuit of relating Freemasonry to the US Founding Fathers.

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Discussion Comments


Dan Brown made TIME Magazine’s list of the One Hundred Most Influential People of the Year in 2005. He also was number 12 in Forbe’s Magazine’s Celebrity 100 List in 2005. It was estimated that Brown’s income from The DaVinci Code sales was in excess of $250 million.

His wife, Blythe, is credited for doing much of the research for his novels. She is an art historian and a painter.

I am a huge fan of The DaVinci Code and look forward to more Dan Brown novels.

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