Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestseller, with over 89 million copies in print worldwide, in over 50 languages, in during over 50 million copies in the United States alone, and his popularity continues to soar.
Nicholas Sparks was born on December 31th, 1965 in Omaha, Nebraska to Patrick Michael Sparks and Jill Emma Marie. He was the middle of three children. His father is a professor of business and he was a graduated student for much of Nicholas’s early life, so the family lived in a number of college towns before settling in Fair Oaks, California, when Nicholas was eight. While his mother worked as both a homemaker and optometrist’s assistant. All three sparks children, including Nicholas’s older brother, Micah and younger sister, Danielle, were born within a three-year period and the closeness in age created a strong bond between them.
Nicholas excelled in high school, graduating valedictorian of his class and earning notice as a middle-distance runner. He accepted a full athletic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame and set a school record as part of a relay team, but he found himself hampered by an Achilles tendon injury the summer after his freshman year. With time on his hands and little to do but recover, Nicholas wrote his first novel, “ The Passing ” , which was never published. According to Nicholas, it will never be, but the experience began to home his writing skills.
Nicholas graduated from Notre Dame in 1988 with a degree in finance and married his wife, Cathy in 1989 a year that would also bring a deep sadness to Nicholas’s life, his mother passed away at the age of 47 from a horseback riding accident. That year was also when Nicholas wrote his second novel, “ The Royal Murders”, which also remains unpublished.
Over the next three years, Nicholas experimented with jobs in a number of industries, including real estate appraisal, home restoration, food service, and dental supply sales. With little training in medical sales, Nicholas then started an orthopedic products manufacturing company that brought in little income. He experienced two bright spots during that time, though, including the birth of his son, Miles, and the chance entitled “Wokini”, a title that went on to sell over 50.000 copies. In 1992, Nicholas experienced more change, more joy, and more tragedy. He sold his company, took a job in pharmaceutical sales and moved to North Carolina. He and Cathy also learned that Cathy was pregnant with their second child (Ryan, born on 1993). That same year, however, Nicholas also learned that his sister had developed cancer, an illness that would later claim her life.
Then at the age of 28, Nicholas decided to make another concerted, even more serious, effort at writing. To that end, he spent the second half of 1994 writing a novel he called “The notebook” , scheduling his writing time around his family’s schedule. A year later, while living in Greenville, South Carolina, where he was transferred for his pharmaceutical sales job, Nicholas was offered a contract by a young new agent with no published novels to her credit. Despite her inexperience, however, Theresa Park was able not only to sell the manuscript to Warner Books but also to secure a $ 1 million advance, much to the Nicholas’s shock and elation. Ms. Park along with United Talent Agency also sold the film rights New Line Cinema.
The next year also brought a mix of success and tragedy, Nicholas’s father died in an automobile accident at the age of 54, just a month before Nicholas embarked on a 45-city tour to promote “The Notebook” . That novel eventually spent 55 weeks on both of The New York Times hardcover and The New York Times paperback bestseller lists and was translated into 45 languages.
Over the next several years, Nicholas continued to write, saw several of his novels adapted into film, and welcomed three more children to his family. Today, Nicholas lives in North Carolina, where he continues his prolific writing career and lives with his wife Cathy and their five children: Miles, Ryan, Landon, and twins Lexie and Savannah. He also has donated a track to New Bern High School and contributes to local and national charities. He donated $900.000 for a new, all-weather tartan track to New Bern High School. He also donates his time to help coach the New Bern High School track team and a local club track team as a volunteer head coach. He contributes to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame by funding the scholarships, internships and annual fellowships. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Sparks and his wife had donated close to $10 million to start a Christian, international, college-prep private school, The Epiphany School of Global Studies, which emphasizes travel and lifelong learning.
In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x 400 meters, in New York. The record still stands. In 2011, Nicholas and his wife launched the Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501 ©(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of Nicholas and Catherine Sparks, more than $10 million dollar have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because Nicholas and Catherine Sparks cover all operational expenses of the foundation, 100 % of donations are devoted to programs. On April 19 until 22 2012, he launched the inaugural Nicholas Sparks Celebrity Family Weekend and Golf Tournament in New Bern, North Carolina, a weekend devoted to raising awareness and funds for the Foundation. Sparks and his family hosted starts from the worlds of sports, music, movies, and television along with fans for a full calendar of events, raising over $500.000.
Each of Nicholas’s novels has ranked as an international bestseller. After The Notebook , additional novels followed in rapid succession, including Message in a Bottle published in 1998 and A Walk to Remember published in 1999. After that, came The Rescue in 2000, A Bend in the Road in 2001, Nights in Rodanthe in 2002, and The Guardian and The Wedding in 2003. Nicholas coauthored Three Weeks with My Brother, with his brother, Micah in 2004 and then returned to Solo Works with True Believer and At First Sight in 2005, Dear John in 2006, The Choice in 2007, and The Best of Me in 2011.