Jack Reacher author Lee Child to receive honorary doctorate in UK

Jack Reacher

Novelist Lee Child. Image provided by Coventry University

COVENTRY, England – World-famous author Lee Child will return to the city where he spent his early childhood to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Coventry University.

Lee, whose real name is James Dover Grant CBE, was born and raised in the Styvechale area of the city before moving with his family to Birmingham (England). His career has since taken him further afield and across the Atlantic.

He shot to fame as the man behind the Jack Reacher novels which follow the adventures of a former American military policeman who wanders the United States. His first novel, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel.

The 68-year-old will be traveling from his home in New York to be at Coventry Cathedral next week as he becomes a Doctor of Letters in the university’s latest round of honorary degrees.

He said: “As I got older I was still always aware of Coventry being there and had fond memories. I was supporting City of Culture and was scheduled to show up but the pandemic laid waste to that.’

“From my point of view it’s lovely that someone has read my books and thinks I’m worthy of being given something like this. Coventry University didn’t exist by that name when I was here and I’m happy it’s doing so well.”

Early in his career, Lee joined Granada Television in Manchester as a presentation director and worked on shows including Prime Suspect and Cracker. He was involved in the transmission of more than 40,000 hours of programming, writing thousands of commercials and news stories between 1977 to 1995.

After being laid off due to corporate restructuring, Lee decided to start writing novels, stating they are “the purest form of entertainment,” and in 1997, Killing Floor was published. He moved to the United States the following summer.

The books spawned two movies featuring Tom Cruise as the eponymous hero, while a television series was released last year on Amazon Prime.

Lee is in the process of retiring and handing over the torch of the Jack Reacher novels to his younger brother Andrew.

#   #   #