Author Thomas Harris was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1940 to Thomas, an electrical engineer, and Polly, a high school chemistry and biology teacher. He graduated with a B.A. from Baylor University in 1964. He has one child, a daughter, from his first marriage. Harris worked as a general assignment reporter for the Associated Press in New York and covered the crime beat daily. He spent time at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico and has interviewed serial killer Ted Bundy in researching for his novels. Harris's first novel, "Black Sunday" (1975), was a collaborative effort with fellow reporters Sam Maul and Dick Riley. While working the evening shift for the AP, they came up with the idea of using the Goodyear Blimp as the vehicle for a terrorist attack at the Super Bowl. The next novel, "Red Dragon" (1981), tells the story of the FBI's search for a murderer and introduces the infamous character Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. The 1986 movie version of this novel was titled Manhunter. Next came, what many considered to be a masterpiece of suspense, "The Silence of the Lambs" (1988) and brings back the psychopathic killer Hannibal Lecter in an intense exploration of evil. The film version became the third movie in history to claim the top five Academy Awards, which were Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Best Screenplay (Ted Tally), Best Director (Jonathan Demme) and Best Picture. The sequel, "Hannibal," was published in 1999 and it was also made into a movie.