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Stephen Coonts (born July 19, 1946) is an American thriller and suspense novelist.
Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a small coal-mining town  and earned an B.A. degree in political science at West Virginia University in 1968. He entered the Navy the following year and flew an A-6 Intruder medium attack plane during the Vietnam War, where he served on two combat cruises aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). He accumulated 1600 hours in the A-6 Intruder and earned a number of Navy commendations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. (His navigator-bombardier was LTjg Stanley W. Bryant who later became a Rear Admiral and deputy commander-in-chief of the US naval forces in Europe.)
After the war Coonts served as a flight instructor for A-6 aircraft for two years, then did a tour as an assistant catapult and arresting gear officer aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68). After being honorably discharged from duty as a lieutenant in 1977, Coonts pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at the University of Colorado, graduating in 1979. He then worked as a lawyer for several oil and gas companies, pursuing his writing interests in his free time.
Coonts published short stories in a number of publications before writing Flight of the Intruder in 1986. That book, based in part on his experiences as an A-6 pilot during the Vietnam War, spent 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists, and later (1991) was made into a movie. This launched his career as a novelist, and he continued writing adventure-thrillers, most of them based on the main character from his first book, Jake Grafton. Coonts has also written several other series and stand-alone novels, but is best known for the Grafton books. Today Coonts continues to write, having had seventeen New York Times bestsellers (out of 20 books).Information source: wikipedia