Dan graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1982. He later graduated from Amherst College in 1986 and went on to pursue a musical career first as a songwriter, then as an English teacher at Phillips Exeter before he moved into writing fiction full-time in 1996. His first thriller novel, Digital Fortress was published in 1998 and became a best-seller. He followed that with Angels and Demons in 2000 and Deception Point in 2001.
His most famous work, The Da Vinci Code, was written about a cryptic code that was discovered in Leonardo Da Vinci's artwork. The main character, Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbologist, is called upon to decipher the code. The story itself is based upon ancient historical facts and documents, including the hidden codes in some of Da Vinci's famous paintings. It has become one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
In 2004, each of Brown's four novels appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list during the same week. The Da Vinci Code was adapted for the silver screen and starred Tom Hanks, becoming one of the top grossing films of 2006.
In 2009, his newest novel, The Lost Symbol, became the fastest selling adult novel in history, selling one million in hardcover and e-book versions in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada on the first day of its release. The book is set after the events of The Da Vinci Code, and takes place over a 12-hour period in Washington, D.C. That same year, Angels and Demons was released as a feature film. Many of the same players from The Da Vinci Code were involved in the film, including Tom Hanks in the lead role, and Ron Howard as director.
Brown is married to his wife, Blythe, whom he met while living in California. She is a painter and art historian. They married in 1997.
In 2004, Dan and his siblings, Valerie Brown and Gregory Brown, donated $2.2-million to Phillips Exeter Academy, where their father Richard Brown, was Professor Emeritus. Professor Brown taught mathematics at the school for 35 years, from 1962 until he retired in 1997. The funds went toward setting up the Richard G. Brown Technology Endowment, which provides computers and high-tech equipment for students in need.
Time magazine named Dan Brown one of the "World's Most Influential People" in 2005. Considering that he has created a world of Christian controversy, remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for the better part of two years and revived an interest in conspiracy-theories, code-breaking and history, that declaration might be an understatement.
Digital Fortress, 1998
Angels & Demons, 2000
Deception Point, 2001
The Da Vinci Code, 2003
The Lost Symbol, 2009