Born and raised in Southern Florida, he graduated from the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. Since 1976, he has been a journalist with The Miami Herald, where he has a twice-weekly column. Quite early in his career, he turned to investigative journalism, for example exposing schemes to destroy, for profit's sake, Florida's natural beauty. Eventually, in the 1980s, he embarked on a career as a novelist. Hiaasen's fiction mirrors his concerns as a journalist and Floridian. His novels have been classified as "environmental thrillers" and are usually found on the crime shelves in bookshops although they can just as well be read as mainstream satires of contemporary life. He lives in the Florida Keys.
Hiaasen's Florida is that of greedy businessmen, corrupt politicians, dumb blondes, apathetic retirees, intellectually challenged tourists, and militant ecoteurs. It has been generally agreed that for newcomers to Hiaasen's bizarre world, Tourist Season is the best place to start.
An award-winning columnist, Hiaasen has also written non-fiction, most notably Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World (1998).
More information can be found at Hiaasen's homepage.
Other Florida-based crime fiction writers: