|Dan Brown, biography, The Da Vinci Code
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Dan Brown, best-selling author of 'The Da Vinci Code' was born on June 22, 1964.
Brown grew up as the eldest of three children in Exeter, New Hampshire and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, a decidedly up-market school where his father was employed as a math teacher, in 1982. His mother, Constance, was a professional musician principally involved in performing sacred music. Although Dan Brown actually attended local public, (i.e. open-enrollment), schools until the ninth grade he nonetheless lived with his family on the Exeter campus and participated in a college related life that was also informed by christian values- singing in the church choir and attending church camp.
Brown then attended Amherst College, graduating with a degree in English and Spanish in 1986 and spent
several subsequent years attempting to establish himself as a singer-songwriter and pianist with only marginal success.
Dan Brown puts his writing career down to reading a copy of Sidney Sheldon's "Doomsday Conspiracy" which he had found on the beach whilst on holiday in Tahiti in 1994, saying, "I finished the book and thought, 'Hey, I could do that'."
In 1995 Dan Brown and Blythe, (now describing herself as an art historian), wrote, under the pseudonym Danielle Brown '187 Men to Avoid: A Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman'. The following year Dan Brown became a full-time writer, Dan Brown and Blythe Newlon were married in 1997, he published his first thriller, Digital Fortress, in 1998. He went on to write 'Angels and Demons' and 'Deception Point'. In the early pages of 'Deception Point' there appeared an Acknowledgement where Brown thanked "Blythe Brown for her tireless research and creative input." 'The Da Vinci Code' which seems also to have benefitted from such "research and input" was published in March 2003 and sold 6,000 copies on the first day - going to the top of the New York Times' Best Seller list in the first week of publication. (The New York Times literary staff had, in fact, been so taken with their preview copies that they had actually openly endorsed it as a "wow" just prior to publication).
Dan Brown and his siblings donated $2.2 million to the Phillips Exeter
Academy in 2004 establishing the "Richard G. Brown Technology Endowment",
to help "provide computers and high-tech equipment for students in need" to honor their father, who had taught there for 35 years.
The sales figures for The Da Vinci Code kept on growing - to the extent that it became established as the fastest-selling adult novel ever with some 40 million copies sold that had reputedly earned Dan Brown around £140 million by early 2006. A deal has also been struck with Columbia Pictures for a multi-million pound film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks as Langdon and directed by Ron Howard.