Author Biographies: Rita Mae Brown


Rita Mae Brown was born on November 28, 1944 in Hanover, Pennsylvania to an unwed, teenage mother and her married boyfriend. Brown was left at an orphanage by her mother before she was rescued and adopted by a cousin of her mother’s and her husband.

In 1962, Brown attended the University of Florida at Gainesville, but in 1964 she was expelled from the university for participating the the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout the ’60’s, Brown was involved in a number of movements, such as the Feminist, Anti-War, and the Gay Liberation movements.


Between 1964 and 1969, Brown lived (sometimes homeless) in New York City as she attended New York University. She received a degree in Classics and English. She also received a certificate in cinematography from the New York School of Visual Arts. Brown also went on to achieve a doctorate in Literature from Union Institute and University as well as a doctorate in Political Science from the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

Brown has written poetry, novels, nonfiction, fiction, and screenplays. In 1982, Brown wrote a parody screenplay poking fun at horror films, but producers took the film seriously and released a movie into theaters for a limited time. She has been nominated for an Emmy and has won other awards regarding her screenplays. Brown writes in a variety of genres, but one of her most well-known works is the Mrs. Murphy mystery series, which she co-authors with her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie. Start with Wish You Were Here.