James Patterson was born in Newburgh, New York, on March 22, 1947. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1969 and received a M. A. from Vanderbilt University in 1970. His first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, was written while he was working in a mental institution and was rejected by 26 publishers before being published and winning the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery. He is best known as the creator of Alex Cross, the police psychologist hero of such novels as Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls. Cross has been portrayed on the silver screen by Morgan Freeman. He also writes the Women's Murder Club series, as well as the Maximum Ride series, Daniel X series, the Witch and Wizard series, and the Middle School series for children. He has won numerous awards including the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice Award. He also made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012 with his title I Funny: A Middle School Story and again in 2013 with his title's Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! and 12th of Never.