Turow, Scott

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TUROW, SCOTT (1949– ), U.S. novelist. Turow, who was born in Chicago, graduated from Amherst College. On a fellowship he attended Stanford University's Creative Writing Center for two years and then taught there for three years. In 1975 Turow entered Harvard Law School and graduated with honors in 1978, but not before publishing One L, a book about his first year there. From 1978 to 1986 Turow was an assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, where he prosecuted several high-profile corruption cases, including the tax-fraud case of the state attorney general. Turow was also lead counsel in the federal prosecution of Illinois judicial corruption cases. After leaving the U.S. Attorney's office, Turow became a novelist, achieving his greatest success with legal thrillers like Presumed Innocent (1987), The Burden of Proof (1990), Pleading Guilty (1993), The Laws of Our Fathers (1996), Personal Injuries (1999), and Reversible Errors (2002). His books were translated into 20 languages, sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and won many literary awards. The film based on Presumed Innocent (1990), starring Harrison Ford and directed by Alan J. Pakula, was also a major box-office success. Turow sought to make a break from the courtroom fiction genre with Ordinary Heroes (2005), a story set in World War ii in which the major characters are Jewish. In addition to his writing, Turow continued to practice law. He was a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, a national law firm. His practice centered on white collar criminal litigation, but he devoted a substantial part of his practice to pro bono work, including representing defendants facing the death penalty. In one of those cases, a prisoner was exonerated after 11 years in prison. In 2003, Turow published Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing With the Death Penalty. He served as president of the Authors Guild, the national organization for professional writers, and was active in a number of public bodies and charitable causes, including Literacy Chicago and Illinois's Executive Ethics Commission.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]