Nicholas Sparks Biography

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Personal Background Nicholas Sparks was born in 1965 in Omaha, Nebraska, the second of three children. His father, Patrick Michael (Mike), was a graduate student for much of Nicholas' early life, so the family lived in a number of college towns before settling in Fair Oaks, California, when Nicholas was eight. Nicholas' mother, Jill EmmaMarie (Jill), worked as both a homemaker and optometrist's assistant. All three Sparks children, including Nicholas' 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. Education and Work Experience 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 hone 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' 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 That year was also when Nicholas wrote his second novel, The Royal Murders, which also remains unpublished.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

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