John Sandford is the pseudonym of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling novelist John Roswell Camp. Camp was born on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He received a B.A. in American History and a Masters in Journalism from the University of Iowa. Camp worked for the Miami Herald from 1971 to 1978. In 1978 he moved to Minneapolis and started working for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press as a features reporter before becoming a daily columnist at the newspaper in 1980. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1980, for a series of stories on Native American culture. In 1986 he won the Pulitzer for Non-Deadline Feature Writing for a series of stories collectively titled "Life on the Land: An American Farm Family". The series, written during the midwest farm crisis, followed a typical southwest Minnesota farm family through the course of a full year. He stopped writing full-time for the Pioneer Press in 1989, although he didn't stop entirely until the next year.
In 1989 Camp wrote two novels that would become the first books of his two best-selling series. Both novels, The Fool's Run of the Kidd series and Rules of Prey of the Prey series, were accepted and due to be published three months apart. The Fool's Run was published under the name "John Camp", but the publisher asked Camp to provide a pseudonym for Rules of Prey so it was published under the name "John Sandford". After the Prey series proved to be more popular, with its charismatic protagonist Lucas Davenport, The Fool's Run and all of its subsequent sequels have been published under the "Sandford" name.
In 2007 Sandford started a third series featuring Virgil Flowers, who previously was a supporting character in Invisible Prey.