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Rick Riordan
Riordan at BookExpo America in 2018
Riordan at BookExpo America in 2018
Born Richard Russell Riordan Junior
(1964-06-05) June 5, 1964 (age 58)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Novelist
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Texas at San Antonio
Notable works
Years active 1997–present
Spouse Becky Riordan
Children 2


Richard Russell Riordan Junior (/ˈraɪərdən/; born June 5, 1964) is an American author, best known for writing the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. Riordan's books have been translated into forty-two languages and sold more than thirty million copies in the United States. 20th Century Fox adapted the first two books of his Percy Jackson series as part of a series of films, while a Disney+ adaptation is in production. His books have spawned related media, such as graphic novels and short story collections.

Riordan's first full-length novel was Big Red Tequila, which became the first book in the Tres Navarre series. His big breakthrough was The Lightning Thief (2005), the first novel in the five-volume Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which placed a group of modern-day adolescents in a Greco-Roman mythological setting. Since then, Riordan has written The Heroes of Olympus, a sequel to the Percy Jackson series; The Kane Chronicles, a trilogy of similar premise focusing on Egyptian mythology; and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, again a trilogy of similar premise focusing on Norse mythology. Riordan also helped Scholastic Press develop The 39 Clues series and its spinoffs, and penned its first book, The Maze of Bones. In 2021, he published Daughter of the Deep. His third standalone novel, The Sun and the Star, co-written with author Mark Oshiro, is set to be released on May 2, 2023.

Life and career

Rick riordan 2007
Riordan at the 2007 Texas Book Festival with advance publicity for The Battle of the Labyrinth

Riordan was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Alamo Heights High School, and first attended the music program at North Texas State University, wanting to be a guitarist. He transferred to the University of Texas at Austin and studied English and History. He received his teaching certification in those subjects from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He taught English and Social Studies for eight years at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco.

Rick married Becky Riordan in 1985 on the couple's shared birthday. They have two sons, Haley and Patrick. They moved from San Antonio to Boston in June 2013, in conjunction with older son Haley starting college in Boston.

Riordan has created several successful book series. Tres Navarre, an adult mystery series about a Texas private eye, won the Shamus, Anthony, and Edgar Awards.

He conceived the idea for the Percy Jackson series as bedtime stories about ancient Greek heroes for his son Haley. Haley had been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, inspiring Riordan to make the titular protagonist hyperactive and dyslexic. Riordan published the first novel in the series, The Lightning Thief, in 2005. Four sequels followed, with the last, The Last Olympian, in 2009. Prior to Percy Jackson, Riordan had written the Tres Navarres series, a series of mystery novels for adult readers.

His Percy Jackson & the Olympians series features the titular twelve-year-old who discovers he is the modern-day son of the ancient Greek god Poseidon. 20th Century Fox purchased the film rights and released two feature film adapations between 2010 and 2013. Following the success of Percy Jackson, Riordan created The Kane Chronicles, which features a modern-day Egyptian pantheon and two new sibling protagonists, Sadie and Carter Kane. Riordan also created a sequel series to Percy Jackson, The Heroes of Olympus.

Riordan also helped create the children's book series The 39 Clues. He authored several of its books, including The Maze of Bones, which topped The New York Times Best Seller list on September 28, 2008. He also wrote the introduction to the Puffin Classics edition of Roger Lancelyn Green's Tales of the Greek Heroes, in which he states that the book influenced him to write his Greek mythology series.

In 2022, Riordan co-wrote the pilot for the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series on Disney+ and is serving as an executive producer for the show. Disney had earlier acquired Fox in 2019, allowing it to gain the rights to adapt the Percy Jackson novels.


  • 1998 Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel and Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original for Big Red Tequila
  • 1999 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original for The Widower's Two-Step
  • 2008 Mark Twain Award for The Lightning Thief
  • 2009 Mark Twain Award for The Sea of Monsters
  • 2009 Rebecca Caudill Award for The Lightning Thief
  • 2010 School Library Journal's Best Book for The Red Pyramid
  • 2011 Children's Choice Book Awards: Author of the Year
  • 2011 Children's Choice Book Awards: Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year for The Red Pyramid
  • 2011 Wyoming Soaring Eagle Book Award for The Last Olympian
  • 2011 Milner Award for Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
  • 2012 Indian Paintbrush Award for The Red Pyramid
  • 2013 Best Fiction Book for Children in Bulgaria for The Mark of Athena
  • 2017 Stonewall Book Award for Children's literature for The Hammer of Thor

Rick Riordan Presents

In September 2016, Disney-Hyperion announced a new Rick Riordan imprint. The imprint is called "Rick Riordan Presents" and was launched in March 2018. It is headed by Riordan's editor, Stephanie Owens Lurie.

Lurie said that Riordan had been approached about an imprint several years ago but initially dismissed the idea because of his heavy workload. Later, he reported back that he had been "toying with the idea" and was "willing to go forward with a publishing line that was not a brand extension for his own work but a platform for Riordan to bring other great writers to the attention of his vast and loyal audience." She also said that the imprint planned to launch with two then undetermined books. "The point of making this announcement now is to get the word out about what we’re looking for.”

The imprint will not publish books written by Riordan, "whose role will be closer to curator". In an interview with the Iowa Gazette, Riordan said, "Instead of me writing all of the mythologies we are going to look for authors who already are writing about that stuff. If I feel like I can recommend them [to my readers] ... we’re going to have them out here in the spotlight." A focus will be placed on "diverse, mythology-based fiction by new, emerging, and under-represented authors". Lurie expressed hopes that the imprint will help satisfy Riordan fans without asking the author to write more than his usual two books a year.

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