Rita Mae Brown (born November 28, 1944) is an American writer. She is best known for her first novel Rubyfruit Jungle. Published in 1973, it dealt with lesbian themes in an explicit manner unusual for the time. Brown is also a mystery writer and screenwriter.
Brown was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Florida, and as of 2012 lived outside Charlottesville, Virginia.
In the 1960s, Brown attended Broward Community College and the University of Florida but transferred. She moved to New York and attended New York University, where she received a degree in classics and English. Later she received another degree in cinematography from the New York School of Visual Arts. Brown received a Ph.D. in literature from Union Institute & University in 1976, and holds a doctorate in political science from the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.