Anna Katharine Green was born in Brooklyn, New York to James Wilson Green, a lawyer, and his wife Catharine Ann Whitney. In 1866, she graduated from Ripley Female College (now Green Mountain College) in Poultney, Vermont. Her first published book was The Leavenworth Case (1878), a major success, now considered the first American detective novel. In 1884, she married Charles Rohlfs, an actor who later became an acclaimed furniture designer, with whom she collaborated on some of his designs. The couple had three children. She became a bestselling author, eventually publishing about 40 books during her career.