Daniel Silva (born 1960) is a best-selling American author of 21 thriller and espionage novels. Silva was born in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. Silva's parents are both Portuguese American teachers. When Silva was seven years old, his family moved to Merced, California.
Silva received his BA from Fresno State and began a graduate program in international relations at San Francisco State University, but left when offered employment as a journalist at UPI.
Silva began his writing career as a journalist with a temporary position at United Press International in 1984. His assignment was to cover the Democratic National Convention. United Press International made Silva's position permanent and, a year later, transferred him to the Washington, D.C., headquarters. After two more years, he was appointed as UPI's Middle East correspondent and moved to Cairo, Egypt.
Silva returned to Washington, D.C., for a position with Cable News Network's Washington Bureau. He worked as a producer and executive producer for several of CNN's television programs, including Crossfire and Capital Gang.
In 1994 he began work on his first novel, The Unlikely Spy (1996). The novel debuted on The New York Times best-seller list on January 26, 1997; it remained on the list for five weeks, rising to number 13. In 1997 Silva left CNN to pursue writing full-time.
Since then Silva has written 20 more spy novels, all best-sellers on The New York Times list. The main focus is Gabriel Allon, an Israeli art restorer, spy and assassin, who is a key figure in all but three of Silva's titles. The series has been a The New York Times bestseller since its first installment in 2001. Seven of the series' titles hit number one on The New York Times list of best sellers (Bibliography, below). Some of his novels are set against Islamic terrorism, some relate to villains set in Russia, and some are about historic events related to World War II and the Holocaust. Silva did not come into the Allon series with a significant understanding of the world of art restoration but was able to use a neighbor's expertise to help him turn a spy-assassin into an artist.