Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction Mystery Non-Fiction

Born: 1949 in Chicago, Illinois



Illinois Connection

Turow was born in Chicago and raised in the northern suburbs. A graduate of New Trier High School, he has lived in Chicago most of his life and currently resides in Wilmette.

Biographical and Professional Information

Scott Turow is an American author, as well as a practicing lawyer. He is a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal an international law firm. Turow wrote his first novel, ''Presumed Innocent'', while riding to work on a commuter train. It was his first best seller. Since then, Turow's books have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold over 30 million copies. Several motion pictures and television series have been based on his books.

Turow graduated with high honors from Amherst College in 1970, receiving a fellowship to Stanford University Creative Writing Center which he attended from 1970 to 1972. From 1972 to 1975 Turow taught creative writing at Stanford. In 1975, he entered Harvard Law School, graduating with honors in 1978. From 1978 to 1986, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, serving as lead prosecutor in several high-visibility federal trials investigating corruption in the Illinois judiciary. In 1995, in a major pro bono legal effort he won a reversal in the murder conviction of a man who had spent 11 years in prison, many of them on death row, for a crime another man confessed to.

Today, he continues to write and is a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal an international law firm, where his practice centers on white-collar criminal litigation and involves representation of individuals and companies in all phases of criminal matters.

Turow has presented at the National Book Festival in Washington DC. The links to his webcasts below can be copied and pasted into your browser.

*2001 National Book Festival Webcast (part 1) -

*2001 National Book Festival Webcast (part 2) -

*2006 National Book Festival Webcast -

*2010 National Book Festival Webcast -

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- '''Body of Work''' -- *Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 2007

-- *Silver Dagger, British Crime Writers


-- '''''Identical''''' -- *ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2015


-- '''''Ultimate Punishment''''' -- *Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, 2004


-- '''''Reversible Errors''''' -- *Heartland Prize for Fiction, 2003


-- '''''Personal Injuries''''' -- *Best Work of Fiction, Time Magazine, 1999