Dan Brown

American Author

Dan Brown has made his mark in literature as arguably one of the greatest writers and best-selling authors the world has seen in recent times. Brown has mastered the art of suspense, with each of his thrillers revealing shocking ends entwined in webs of conspiracy and cryptic mystery.

He rose to the spotlight after he published ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ a novel that shook the Christian world, triggered a lot of questions about faith, and led to his feature in the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine in 2005.

Life Facts

  • Dan Brown was born on 22nd June 1964 in Exeter, New Hampshire.
  • He was the eldest of three children.
  • He did his schooling at Phillips Exeter Academy, considered a highly exclusive school in Exeter and where his father was a mathematics instructor.
  • His mother was a music professor; chiefly involved in practicing religious music.
  • Brown graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and then attended Amherst College, where he majored in English and Spanish. After graduating from Amherst in 1986, Brown began his music career. He was the producer of a children’s cassette entitled ‘Synth Animals.
  • Dan Brown joined the National Academy of Songwriters and met Blythe Newlon, a woman that helped promote his music career.
  • After facing setbacks in his music career he moved to Los Angeles in 1991 and taught Spanish at Beverly Hills Prep School.
  • In 1993 Dan Brown became inspired to write thriller novels after reading ‘The Doomsday Conspiracy ‘ by Sidney Sheldon. He then went on to publish his first thriller ‘Digital Fortress‘ in 1998.
  • Dan Brown returned to New England and Blythe Newlon went with him. They eventually got married in 1997.
  • Angels and Demons’ was published in 2000, followed by ‘Deception Point‘ in 2001.
  • Although Dan Brown’s first three novels were modestly successful, when ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was released he became a top-selling novelist worldwide.
  • In 2019, after 21 years of marriage, Brown and his wife acrimoniously divorced.

Interesting Facts

  • Every day, Brown gets up at 4 am to write.
  • In 2004, all four of Dan Brown’s novels were featured in the New York Times Best Seller List in the same week.
  • Despite being a novelist, Brown hates reading fiction because he can’t get through them.
  • In the 2014 Penguin Annual Lecture, he revealed that his first book was ‘The Giraffe, the Pig and the Pants on Fire.’ He dedicated his first book to his mother. The book had a print run of one copy.
  • Dan Brown wrote a book under the name Danielle Brown in 1995, co-written with his wife titled ‘187 Men to Avoid: A Survival Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman.’ He also co-wrote ‘The Bald Book‘ with his wife in 1998
  • His nickname for his library is The Fortress of Gratitude.
  • When Brown has writer’s block, he retreats to his loft and takes advantage of inversion therapy. He says hanging from a new angle often gives him a new perspective.
  • As a child, a young Dan Brown would often create his own complex puzzles and even his own coded ciphers.
  • Sidney Sheldon’s novel ‘The Doomsday Conspiracy’ inspired Brown to become a writer of thrillers.

Famous Books by Albert Camus

‘Digital Fortress is officially the first book by Dan Brown. It was published in 1998 and although it had an interesting plot, it did not do well in the markets since Brown was still transitioning into being a novelist and had not fully understood what sold in the industry yet. It is one of the only two books by Brown that are not part of the Langdon series.

Angels and Demons’ published in 2000 is the first book in the Robert Langdon book series. This is where we first meet Harvard professor and Symbology expert Robert Langdon who together with physicist Leonardo Vetra must fight to stop the Illuminati from destroying the Vatican City.

Deception Point’ was published in 2001 and even though is frequently overlooked because it falls outside of the Robert Langdon books series; it is still one of the most popular books by Dan Brown.  The story follows White House intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton as she finds herself in a conflicted position after discovering that NASA’s discovery of extraterrestrial life carries with it a series of conspiracies and murders.

The Da Vinci Code’ published in 2003 takes the top spot as the most famous book published by Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code was extremely popular and was a worldwide bestseller. As of 2009, it had sold over 80 million copies and has been translated into over 44 languages. This feat has undoubtedly set Brown apart from other novelists. The book also went on to cast its spotlight on its predecessors, also putting them on the bestseller list.

The Lost Symbol’ published in 2009 follows Langdon as he uncovers a trail of clues that will lead him to his kidnapped mentor and a member of the Free Mason.

Brown released the book after taking a six-year hiatus from writing. The suspenseful wait definitely contributed to the sales as it broke sales records by selling over one million hardcover versions on its first day of release.

 ‘Inferno’ published in 2013 is one of the least favourites in the Langdon series. It begins with Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon finding himself in an Italian hospital and spirals into a chaos of events that must lead Langdon to stop a mad scientist and his followers who want to end the world with a deadly virus.

Origin’ is the most recent novel by Dan Brown and his latest addition to the Langdon series. The book published in 2017 was top-rated as it spent some time on the number one spot of The New York Times bestseller list.

This book is set in Spain, and it follows Robert Langdon when he is invited to the Guggenheim Museum to see an amazing discovery that will change the face of science.

Early Life and Education

Dan Brown, a native New Englander, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, on June 22, 1964. He attended the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy preparatory school, where his father taught mathematics. His mother was a musician, specializing in sacred Christian religious music.

Due to the contrasting backgrounds of his parents, Brown developed an interest in both mathematics—including number puzzles and codes—and religion, and also understood the differences and tension between religion and science which would be one of the motivations that lead him to write the Da Vinci Code.

After graduating from high school in 1982, Brown attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, from which he graduated with a major in English and Spanish in 1986. Following his experience as a singer in university, Brown attempted to enter the music business by creating a children’s cassette and later released a CD.

Soon after moving to Los Angeles, where he joined the National Academy of Songwriters, he met his future wife, Blythe Newlon. The two soon moved back to New Hampshire where they would marry four years later.

Literary Career

Brown’s sudden transition to writing full-time occurred during a vacation in Tahiti, in 1993, when he read ‘The Doomsday Conspiracy’ by Sidney Sheldon, and was inspired to write thrillers. Brown then started working on ‘Digital Fortress’, setting much of it in Seville, where he had studied in 1985. It was eventually published in 1998 but was not an immediate success.

In between writing his suspense novels, Brown and his wife released books on humor, under the pseudonym Danielle Brown. Brown subsequently wrote ‘Angels & Demons’ published in 2000 and ‘Deception Point’ published in 2001. After publishing ‘Deception Point,’ Brown revived the character of Robert Langdon in ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ published in 2003.

The inspiration for ‘The Da Vinci Code’ began to form in Brown’s mind while he was studying art history in Spain. As he learned about the symbols hidden in many of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings, particularly in the ‘Mona Lisa,’ Brown began to formulate the idea for his book. The novel explores art, symbolism, religion, the Catholic Church, extreme Christian sects, and codes and puzzles, all of which contribute to a search for the truth about the Holy Grail.

‘The Da Vinci Code’ caught the media’s attention.
Many religious institutes presented the book as “Anti-Christian” and it was claimed that Brown plagiarized the idea behind the Holy Grail from a book entitled ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail.’ Brown continued Robert Langdon’s adventures in the ‘The Lost Symbol’ (2009), ‘Inferno‘ (2013), and finally ‘Origin‘ (2019).


Dan Brown has gained immense popularity and appreciation worldwide for his thriller novels. His books have themes that mainly encompass conspiracy theories, treasure, and secret organizations.

One of the greatest aspects of Dan Brown’s books is the historical elements. He has also redefined the use of the setting while writing. He is able to transport his reader to whatever location he is writing about through very detailed descriptions.

Despite the backlash he received for ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ the book undeniably achieved his aim which was to bring about more conversations regarding faith, and he will forever be remembered as the man whose book shook the modern Christian world.

Literature by Dan Brown

Explore literature by Dan Brown below, created by the team at Book Analysis.