Baldacci received a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. As a student, Baldacci wrote short stories in his spare time, and later practiced law for nine years near Washington, D.C.. While living in Alexandria, Virginia, Baldacci wrote short stories and screenplays without much success. In despair, he turned to novel writing, taking three years to write Absolute Power. It took Baldacci two years to get the book published, but when it finally did hit the shelves in 1996 it was an international best seller.
David Baldacci serves as a national ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and participates in numerous charities as well as founding his own foundation for literacy, Wish You Well Foundation. Baldacci was raised in Virginia and still resides there (in Vienna, Virginia) with his wife, Michelle Baldacci (Mikki), and two children. His cousin is the Democratic Governor of Maine John Baldacci, first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.
In 1997, People magazine named him one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.
In 1996, his first novel Absolute Power was published and became an immediate best seller. It tells the story of a fictional American President and his Secret Service agents who are willing to murder people in order to cover up the accidental death of a woman with whom the President was having an affair. It was made into a film, Absolute Power (1997), starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman.
Baldacci has gone on to publish sixteen more novels: Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, Hour Game, The Camel Club, The Collectors, Simple Genius, Stone Cold, The Whole Truth, Divine Justice, True Blue, and the young adult novel Fries Alive! He has also published a novella for the Dutch entitled Office Hours, written for the Netherlands' Year 2000 "Month of the Thriller". Baldacci also authored a short story, "The Mighty Johns", as part of a 2002 mystery anthology.
Baldacci has authored seven original screenplays and his works have been published in magazines, newspapers, and journals throughout the world. All of his books have become national and international bestsellers, translated into over 37 languages and sold in more than 85 countries. Over 40 million copies of Baldacci's books are in print worldwide.