Scott Turow was born on April 12, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from New Trier High School, he attended Amherst College where he graduated in 1970. He won a scholarship to attend Stanford College Writing Center where he graduated in 1975. He attended Harvard Law School from 1975 to 1978.
Scott says that he knew he wanted to be a writer from the time he was 17 years old. He said he decided to write and practice law when he realized that he wasn’t going to support himself as a writer. During his first year at Harvard, he was commissioned to write a book about his experiences as a first year law student. The outcome is “One L”, published in 1977.
Scott Turow married Annette, a painter in 1971. They have three children, but divorced in 2008. From 1978 to 1986, Scott was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago where he prosecuted several high profile cases.
Besides his books, Scott has published many articles including reviews and a treatise on why he does not believe in the death penalty. In 2003 his book, “Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer’s Reflection on Dealing with the Death Penalty”, was published.
Scott Turow is a partner in a large national law firm, Sonnenshein, Nath and Rosenthal. He has worked pro bono cases especially for those wrongfully convicted, as in the case of Alejandro Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez was accused and convicted of the murder of a young girl. He spent 11 years on death row before Mr. Turow won his release in 1996. Scott says that at one time he was death penalty agnostic, but no more.
Scott Turow was appointed, by then Governor Ryan, to the Commission of Capital Punishment and Reform. He is a trustee at Amherst College and was the Author’s Guild for a year and still serves on the board of directors. He also served on the United States Senate Nominations Commission.
Scott has practiced law part time since 1986. He says he writes in the morning and becomes a lawyer in the afternoon. He claims that he still has billable hours every day.
Most of Scott Turow’s books are legal thrillers. An exemption is “Ordinary Heroes.” Scott says that “Ordinary Heroes” is a book that he had wanted to write since he was 17 years old. This book centers on fathers and sons, WWII and hidden pasts. Scott says his own family fabricated their pasts.
So far three of Scott Turow’s books have been made into movies: Presumed Innocent in 1990, The Burden of Proof in 1992 and Reversible Errors in 2004.
Times magazine once touted Scott Turow as “The Bard of the Litigious Age.” The Los Angeles Times says, “No one writes better mystery suspense novels than Scott Turow.”
Scott Turow Novels:
Presumed Innocent (1987)
The Burden of Proof (1990)
Pleading Guilty (1993)
The Laws of Our Fathers (1996)
Personal Injuries (1999)
Reversible Errors (2002)
Ordinary Heroes (2005)
One L (1977)
Ultimate Punishment: A Layer’s Reflection on Dealing with the Death Penalty (2003)