About Nelson DeMille

Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69). He saw action in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division and was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

After his discharge, DeMille returned to Hofstra University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and he and his wife reside on Long Island.

DeMille's first major novel was By the Rivers of Babylon, published in 1978, and is still in print as are all his succeeding novels. He is a member of American Mensa, The Authors Guild, and is past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He is also a member of International Thriller Writers and was chosen as ThrillerMaster of the Year 2015. He holds three honorary doctorates: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, Doctor of Literature from Long Island University, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College.

Nelson DeMille is the author of: By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, The General's Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion's Game, Up Country, Night Fall, Wild Fire, The Gate House, The Lion, The Panther, The Quest, Radiant Angel, and The Cuban Affair. He also co-authored Mayday with Thomas Block and has contributed short stories to anthologies, and book reviews and articles to magazines and newspapers.

Nelson by the Numbers

  • 20Novels Written
  • 16Bestselling Novels
  • 7#1 New York Times
    Bestselling Novels

Did you know...

  • I write all my manuscripts in longhand, using #1 pencils and legal pads.
  • I call my writing studio Area 51.
  • My favorite foreign city is Rome. Second favorite is London.
  • My father was Canadian and joined the American Navy in World War II.
  • My father’s favorite historical hero was Lord Nelson, and that’s how I got my name.
  • My father’s second favorite historical hero was Richard the Lionheart, and that’s how I got my middle name.
  • My favorite cocktail is Dewar’s Scotch and soda.
  • My three favorite beers are Corona, Budweiser, and Stella Artois.
  • My favorite appetizer is pigs-in-a-blanket.
  • My favorite cuisine is Italian.
  • My second favorite cuisine is Mexican.
  • My favorite American city is New York. Second favorite is Boston.
  • My favorite authors are mostly British and all dead.
  • My nine-year-old son beats me at Minecraft.
  • My adult daughter is a psychologist and says I am John Corey.
  • My wife says I am becoming too much like John Corey.
  • My adult son is a screenwriter and has adapted my novel SPENCERVILLE into a screenplay.
  • I drink about 12 cups of black coffee a day when I’m writing.
  • I was made an honorary Kentucky Colonel by Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear in 2013.
  • I grew up near Belmont Park race track and I learned to bet the ponies when I was 12.
  • My favorite spectator sport is college and high school football.
  • My favorite casino games are roulette and poker.
  • My favorite season is autumn.
  • I keep in touch with childhood and high school friends.
  • I contribute a lot of time and money to charity.
  • My mother was a saint.
  • My wife is an angel.
  • I left college in 1966 and joined the Army for adventure.
  • I went to Vietnam for a year. Enough adventure.
  • I returned to college and graduated with a degree in Political Science & History.
  • I worked for years at jobs that were so boring, I missed Vietnam.
  • My first hardcover novel, BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON, was published in 1978.
  • My newest novel, THE CUBAN AFFAIR, is my 20th hardcover.
  • My hobby is asking other people about their hobbies.
  • My wife says I need a hobby.
  • I used to spend too much time at the racetrack. Bad hobby.
  • I like casino gambling. Bad hobby.
  • I’d like to get back into deep sea fishing. Good hobby.
  • If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be an architect or an archeologist.
  • My favorite movies are the INDIANA JONES movies, GODFATHER I & II, JAWS, THE EXORCIST, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, MR. BLANDING BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE, and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
  • I think modern art is a joke or a hoax.
  • I spend a lot of time helping struggling authors.
  • I spend a lot of time talking people out of wanting to become authors.
  • When I grow up, I’m going to get a real job.

Note: Check back to this section often for new facts!

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