Scott Turow has lived in the Chicago area most of his life. He is currently practicing criminal law in Chicago and is also one of America's most popular novelists who specializes in intricate crime mysteries. Three of his books have been made into feature films starting with Presumed Innocent in 1990 starring Illinois-native Harrison Ford. Scott was born in Chicago on April 12, 1949 and raised in the northern suburbs. He graduated from New Trier High School in 1966. In 1970 Scott graduated with honors with a B.A. in English from Amherst College. He went on to study writing at Stanford University where he received an M.A. in 1974.
Scott taught at Stanford from 1972 to 1975 and attended Harvard Law School from 1975 to 1978 when he received his Juris Doctor degree. He became a trustee of Amherst in 2002. From 1978 to 1986, Scott was an Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Northern District in Chicago. He was one of the prosecutors in the tax fraud trial of former Illinois Treasurer and Attorney General William J. Scott and was also a prosecutor of Cook County judges in the Operation Greylord cases.
In addition to two non-fiction books, he is the author of seven best-selling novels including Presumed Innocent (1987), The Burden of Proof (1990), Pleading Guilty (1993), The Laws of Our Fathers (1996), Personal Injuries (1999), Reversible Errors (2002) and Ordinary Heroes (2005).
According to Scott Turow's official web site, in November, 2006, Picador published his latest novel, Limitations, which was originally commissioned and published by The New York Times Magazine. He has also written two non-fiction books—One L (1977) about his experience as a law student, and Ultimate Punishment (2003), a reflection on the death penalty, and has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Playboy, and The Atlantic. His books have won a number of literary awards, including the Heartland Prize in 2003 for Reversible Errors and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 2004 for Ultimate Punishment. His books have been translated into more than 25 languages and have sold more than 25 million copies world-wide.
Again according to his web site, Scott "has been a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, a national law firm, since 1986, concentrating on white collar criminal defense, while also devoting a substantial part of his time to pro bono matters. In one such case, he represented Alejandro Hernandez in the successful appeal that preceded Hernandez’s release after nearly twelve years in prison – including five on death row – for a murder he did not commit."
His official biography continues that Scott Turow "has been appointed to a number of public bodies. He is currently a Member of Illinois' Executive Ethics Commission. From 2002-2004, he served as Chair of the Illinois State Appellate Defender’s Commission, which oversees the state agency which represents indigent criminal defendants in their appeals. He served as one of the fourteen members of the Commission appointed in March, 2000, by (former) Illinois Governor George Ryan to consider reform of the capital punishment system; the Commission was appointed after Governor Ryan declared a Moratorium on executions and delivered its report in April 2002. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Turow was a member of the Illinois State Police Merit Board, which determines matters of hiring, promotion and discipline for members of the Illinois State Police. He also has served in 1997 and 1998 on the United States Senate Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois, which recommended appointment of federal judges."
Scott married Annette Turow, a painter, in 1971. The couple has three children and the family lives in the Chicago area.