American author Dan Brown was born in 1964 in New Hampshire, and grew up in Exeter. As a child, Brown developed a fascination with puzzles and codes, largely inspired by his father who worked as a math teacher. His parents were also musicians, and the two worlds of music and ciphers shaped young Dan’s perceptions and the lens through which he would craft much of his material many years later.
Although Brown is best known as the author of The DaVinci Code and its sequel spin-offs, as a young man his first aspirations were to become a musician; after graduating from Amherst College, Dan went on to form his own record company and begin self-publishing his music. After moving to Los Angeles in pursuit of a career as a singer-songwriter, Brown recorded and released his debut CD, titled Angels & Demons, but it was not as successful as he’d hoped.
After returning back to his hometown in 1993, the now married Brown started teaching English and Spanish at Phillips Exeter, and it was around this time that he began writing. His first novel, Digital Fortress, was moderately successful, and was followed by Angels & Demons in 2000. The book was the first to feature Robert Langdon, and preceded The DaVinci Code, which was actually his fourth novel. But it was The DaVinci Code that became Dan Brown’s best seller and breakthrough, rising to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List and spawning the film adaptation.
The DaVinci ultimately went on to become one of the most popular and commercially successful books of all time, selling nearly 100 million copies worldwide. Since that time, Dan Brown’s novels have sold more than 200 million copies collectively, and they have been translated into fifty-two languages. In addition to The DaVinci Code, Angels & Demons and Inferno have also been adapted into films, with actor Tom Hanks reprising his role as Robert Langdon in each.
Dan Brown continues to write and publish. When he is not writing, Brown is an active supporter of a number of charities, many of them related to education. He has also supported the preservation and digitization of ancient texts by providing much-needed funds to a number of organizations which seek to preserve them.