James won the USC Scripter Award for LA Confidential.
James was given a dishonorable discharge from the United States Army.
James attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, California but was expelled after advocating Nazism in class.
Between 1965-1977, James was arrested 30 times.
Ellroy said the book The Badge written by Jack Webb and published in 1958 encouraged him to begin writing crime fiction.
Ellroy is currently working on a novel entitled Police Gazette.
Before establishing a writing career, Ellroy supported himself by working as a golf caddy.
Ellroy spent several years as a homeless vagrant during his late teens.
Ellroys admires novelist and former LAPD officer Joseph Wambaugh.
Ellroy is 6 feet, 3 inches tall.
Ellroy wrote his first novel at the age of 30.
Ellroy received a psychiatric discharge from the Army after serving only three months.
The 1963-67 series The Fugitive was Ellroy's favorite television show as a young man.
Ellroy attended high school in the Fairfax section of Los Angeles.
Ellroy became obsessed with crime novels as a young man.
Ellroy's parents divorced when he was six years old.
Ellroy's first best selling novel was The Black Dahlia about a real life 1947 Los Angeles murder case.
Ellroy was married to writer Helen Knode.
Ellroy is an outspoken admirer of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Ellroy wrote about his life and his mother's murder in My Dark Places published in 1996.
In 1958, Ellroy's mother, a school nurse, was murdered in El Monte, CA. The case was never solved.
Ellroy opposes the death penalty.
Ellroy currently resides in Carmel, CA.
Ellroy is a recovering alcoholic.
Ellroy is a vegetarian.
Ellroy is nicknamed the "Demon Dog of American crime fiction."
Ellroy's life was the subject of an episode of E! True Hollywood Story.
Ellroy: I am the most well-adjusted human being I know.
Ellroy: As critical acclaim and response has built up, every interview I give is a chance to puncture the myth I've created about my work and refine it.
Ellroy: The books that I have written that feature real-life characters are all reviewed by the legal departments of my publishers.
Ellroy: Raymond Chandler is not a guy that I admire anymore. I think his books are soft-headed and full of bad writing.
Ellroy: I don't know anybody in the underworld. I make this stuff up. I don't know any criminals.
Ellroy: I am conservative by temperament. I disapprove of criminal activity. I am very solidly and markedly on the side of authority. I would rather err on the side of too much authority than too little.
Ellroy: As a kid, I sensed history going on all around me, but the basic thrust of it didn't move me.
Ellroy: Anybody who doesn't know that politics is a crime has got a few screws loose.