Patterson (born March 22, 1947) is an award-winning American author. Formerly an advertising executive for J. W. Thompson in the early 1990s, Patterson came up with the slogan "Toys R Us Kid". Shortly after his success with Along Came a Spider he retired from the firm and devoted his time to writing. The novels featuring his character, Alex Cross, a black forensic psychologist formerly of the Washington, D.C. Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, now working as a Private psychologist and government consultant, are the most popular books among Patterson readers.
James Patterson has been criticized by Stephen King, who called Patterson's books "dopey thrillers." Patterson shrugged off the comments, stating that he wants to be the "thrillingest Thriller writer of all time". Patterson's last 16 novels have not only been No. 1 best sellers, but have also grossed more than $1 billion in sales.
In addition to his own writing, Patterson's name has appeared on several books written in collaboration with other authors, such as Maxine Paetro and Andrew Gross. These collaborative authors are acknowledged ghost writers for story outlines provided by Patterson.
He lives in Palm Beach, Florida.
Patterson has been the world's best-selling author since 2001 and is currently the world's richest author, with a net worth of $700 million, according to Forbes.