Kathleen Joan Reichs was born in 1950 in Chicago. Because Reichs writes about what she knows, it is likely that her character, Tempe Brennan, draws largely from the personality and experiences of her creator, but little is known about Reich’s personal life. Reichs makes a concerted effort to keep the details of her life private, bristling at questions about her age and about her family and displaying a determination to keep her husband and three grown children out of the public eye. She may have developed this attitude for security reasons before becoming a popular author, when her work as a forensic anthropologist could have made her the focus of unwanted attention from the media or criminals while working on highly controversial and dangerous cases.
Reichs was one of four daughters. Her mother was a musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and her father was a manager in the food industry. As a child, Reichs was always interested in science, although she did try her hand at writing when she was nine, authoring two books, according to the Independent: “One was a mystery and one was a romance and both were hideous.”
At the age of nineteen, she married an attorney, Paul A. Reichs, while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from American University. She graduated in 1971 and went on to Northwestern University, where she received her master’s degree in 1972 and her doctorate in 1975, both in physical anthropology...
(The entire section is 538 words.)