||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)|
5 June 1949 |
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
|Genres||Thriller, historical fiction|
|Notable work(s)||Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca, Pillars of the Earth, Whiteout|
Ken Follett (born 5 June 1949) is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels. He has sold more than 100 million copies of his works. Four of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, Triple, and World Without End.
Early life 
Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales. He was the first child of Martin Follett, a tax inspector, and Lavinia (Veenie) Follett, who went on to have three more children. Barred from watching movies and television by his Plymouth Brethren parents, he developed an early interest in reading but remained an indifferent student until he entered his teens. His family moved to London when he was ten years old, and he began applying himself to his studies at Harrow Weald Grammar School and Poole Technical College, and won admission in 1967 to University College London, where he studied philosophy and became involved in centre-left politics.
Marriage and early success 
He married his first wife, Mary, in 1968, and their son Emanuele was born in the same year. After graduation in the autumn of 1970, Follett took a three-month post-graduate course in journalism and went to work as a trainee reporter in Cardiff on the South Wales Echo. After three years in Cardiff, he returned to London as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News. Finding the work unchallenging, he eventually left journalism for publishing and became, by the late 1970s, deputy managing director of the small London publisher Everest Books. He also began writing fiction during evenings and weekends as a hobby. Later, he said he began writing books when he needed extra money to fix his car, and the publisher's advance a fellow journalist had been paid for a thriller was the sum required for the repairs. Success came gradually at first, but the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978 made him both wealthy and internationally famous. Each of Follett's subsequent novels has also become a best-seller, ranking high on the New York Times Best Seller list; a number have been adapted for the screen. He is also featured in Making Music Magazine.
Follett became involved, during the late 1970s, in the activities of Britain's Labour Party. In the course of his political activities, he met the former Barbara Broer, a Labour official, who became his second wife in 1984. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997, representing Stevenage. She was re-elected in both 2001 and in 2005, but did not run in the 2010 general election after becoming embroiled in the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal, where she was among the MPs found to have overclaimed the highest amount of expenses. Follett himself remains a prominent Labour supporter and fundraiser as well as a prominent Blairite. In 2010, he was the largest donor to Ed Balls's campaign to become leader of the Labour Party, saying "Ed Balls is the only Labour leadership candidate who offers a path to economic growth; his time at the treasury, with low borrowing and high growth, shows he is the true candidate of the centre in this leadership election. Only Ed offers a broad appeal to all voters and is not afraid to stand up to the left wing of the party, much like Tony Blair."
Public life 
Apples Carstairs series (as Simon Myles)
- The Big Needle (1974) (apa The Big Apple – U.S.)
- The Big Black (1974)
- The Big Hit (1975)
Piers Roper series
- The Shakeout (1975)
- The Bear Raid (1976)
The Pillars of the Earth series
The Century Trilogy
- Amok: King of Legend (1976) (as Bernard L. Ross)
- The Modigliani Scandal (1976) (as Zachary Stone)
- The Mystery Hideout (1976) (as Martin Martinsen) (apa The Secret of Kellerman's Studio)
- The Power Twins (1976) (as Martin Martinsen)
- Paper Money (1977) (as Zachary Stone)
- Capricorn One (1978) (as Bernard L. Ross) (based on screenplay by Peter Hyams)
- Eye of the Needle (1978) (apa Storm Island) (Edgar Award, 1979, Best Novel)
- Triple (1979)
- The Key to Rebecca (1980)
- The Man from St. Petersburg (1982)
- Lie Down with Lions (1986)
- Night Over Water (1991)
- A Dangerous Fortune (1993)
- A Place Called Freedom (1995)
- The Third Twin (1996)
- The Hammer of Eden (1998)
- Code to Zero (2000)
- Jackdaws (2001)
- Hornet Flight (2002)
- Whiteout (2004)
- The Heist of the Century (1978) (with René Louis Maurice, others) (apa The Gentleman of 16 July – U.S.) (apa Under the Stars of Nice) (apa Robery Under the Streets of Nice) (apa Cinq Milliards au bout de l'égout 1977)
- On Wings of Eagles (1983)
References and notes 
- "Ken Follett".New York Times List of Number One Best Sellers
- "Ken Follett". WNYC. 7 December 2003. Retrieved 2009-01-28.[dead link]
- "The early years ...". Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- Itzkoff, Dave (21 July 2010). "No Money to Fix Your Car? Write a Best Seller". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- "MP Follett to repay largest sum". BBC News. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- "Letters: Harsh judgments on the pope and religion". The Guardian] (London). 15 September 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "Winter of the World by Ken Follett" CBS News
- Follett rewrote this book after two translators had failed to produce a publishable version of the original French work. Follett has tried to keep it from being published under his name and disowns it entirely, entreating readers not to buy it. 
- Translation from original French version.
Further reading 
- Ken Follett: The Transformation of a Writer (ISBN 978-0879727987), written by Carlos Ramet. Popular Press, November 1990.
- Ken Follett's Website
- Works by or about Ken Follett in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Example Article Directory
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KenFollettAuthor
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/kenfollettauthor
- Twitter: @KMFollett
- IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0284336/