T. Jefferson Parker was born in Los Angeles and has lived all his life in Southern California. He was educated in public schools in Orange County, and earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 1976.
His writing career began in 1978, with a job as a cub reporter on the weekly newspaper, The Newport Ensign. After covering police, city hall and cultural stories for the Ensign, Parker moved on to the Daily Pilot newspaper, where he won three Orange County Press Club awards for his articles. All the while he was tucking away stories and information that he would use in his first book.
Parker's first novel, LAGUNA HEAT, was written on evenings and weekends while he worked as a reporter, and was published to rave reviews and made into an HBO movie starring Harry Hamlin, Jason Robards and Rip Torn.
Parker's following novels --- all dealing with crime, life and death in sunny Southern California --- were published to rave reviews and appeared on many bestseller lists. His writing has been called "potent and irresistible" (Los Angeles Times), and "resonant, literate and powerful" (Kirkus). The New York Times wrote that "T. Jefferson Parker is a powerhouse writer." Writing in the Washington Post, critic Carolyn See called The Triggerman's Dance "a masterpiece."
Parker's SILENT JOE won the Edgar Award for best mystery in 2001, as well as the coveted Los Angeles Times Book Prize for mysteries. Three years later, CALIFORNIA GIRL won the Edgar for best mystery once again. In 2008, Skinhead Central won Parker his third Edgar, this time for best short story.
Parker's last six crime novels --- L.A. OUTLAWS, THE RENEGADES, IRON RIVER, THE BORDER LORDS, THE JAGUAR and THE FAMOUS AND THE DEAD --- all feature Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Charlie Hood, and deal with dangers along the U.S./Mexico border. Lionsgate has bought the rights to bring Charlie Hood to the big screen.
Parker’s latest novel, FULL MEASURE, marks a departure from crime writing and is his first mainstream literary novel.
T. Jefferson Parker