Joseph Kanon was born in Pennsylvania and was educated at Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge (U.K.).
While still an undergraduate at Harvard, he began a career in publishing as a reader for The Atlantic and subsequently held editorial positions at The Saturday Review, Little,Brown, and Coward, McCann.
Executive positions followed: President and CEO of E.P. Dutton and Snr. Vice-President and Head of Trade and Reference Publishing at Houghton Mifflin.
In 1995, on a visit to the Southwest, he visited Los Alamos and conceived the ideal for a novel about the Manhattan Project. Los Alamos, published in 1997 was a best-seller, translated into 20 languages, and won the Edgar Award for best first novel.
Now a full-time writer, he followed it with The Prodigal Spy (’98), The Good German (’01), Alibi (’05), and Stardust.
In 2005, The Good German was made into a film with George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, directed by Steven Soderbergh.
That same year Kanon won the Hammett Award of the International Association of Crime Writers for Alibi and in 2007 was given The Anne Frank Human Writes Award by The Anne Frank Foundation for his writings on the aftermath of the Holocaust.
Joe lives in New York with his wife, literary agent Robin Straus. They have two sons.