Cross's father died of alcoholism a year after his mother died of lung cancer. Cross was sent to Washington at the age of nine to live with his grandmother, whom he calls Nana Mama. He received a doctorate in psychology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Upon graduation, he worked as a migrant farm worker for a year. He started a private practice and worked as a psychologist for two years. He eventually decided to become a policeman after he became disillusioned with the politics of the medical community (from Violets Are Blue).
Cross joined the police force because the people in his neighborhood could not afford his services, while white people would not see a "black shrink". He never expected to like it, but he became hooked on solving crimes. He remembers the first case he solved was that of two men who were shot in southeast Washington, and their killings were written off as drug-related. Alex knew the men and began to investigate on his own. One of the men was dating a woman the local drug dealer thought he owned and had the men killed. Once he solved that case he left private practice (from Violets Are Blue).
He lives with his grandmother (Nana Mama) and three children, Damon, Janelle (Jannie), and Alex Jr (Ali). His wife, Maria Simpson Cross, a social worker, was murdered. Alex fathered Damon and Jannie with Maria. He fathered Alex Jr. with his ex-fiancée, Christine Johnson. Alex Jr. comes to live with Alex, Nana Mama, and the kids in Roses are Red.
Cross initially carries a revolver in Along Came a Spider but then changes sidearms to a Glock pistol. He drives a 1974 Porsche and bought a Mercedes-Benz R350 as a replacement for Maria's old Toyota, which served as the family car (from the novel Cross). He plays the piano to relax (from the novel Cross) and owns an Abyssinian cat named Rosie, who showed up one day and never left. In Jack and Jill, villain Gary Soneji telephones Cross saying that it was he who left the cat. Cross teaches his two elder children boxing in his home's basement (from Pop Goes the Weasel).
Cross volunteers at St. Anthony's soup kitchen frequently, where he is known as the "Peanut Butter Man". He began doing this with Maria. His partner in the PD, John Sampson, also volunteers there. Sampson calls Cross "Sugar" as a term of endearment. Cross calls Sampson "Man-Mountain" or "Two-John". They have been best friends since the age of 10 (from Pop Goes the Weasel).
Alex has had bad luck with women. His wife was murdered. His lover in Along Came a Spider, Jezzie Flanigan, is involved in the kidnapping of two children, for which she is executed by lethal injection. His fiancée, Christine Johnson, was kidnapped for almost a year by Geoffrey Shafer. An FBI agent with whom he had been partnered, Betsey Cavalierre, was murdered by a serial killer called The Mastermind. Cross also developed a deep friendship with Dr. Kateyla "Kate" McTiernan, whom he met before Christine. There were hints of a possible romantic relationship, but they preferred to remain friends. Kate returns briefly in Violets Are Blue, and it is revealed that she is getting married, but her friendship with Alex remains strong. Later he met a San Francisco Police Department inspector, Jamilla Hughes, with whom he struck up a relationship, but they ultimately parted company. He began a new relationship with Dr. Kayla Coles, a resident physician at a local hospital in Southeast Washington, D.C. They were both born in North Carolina but raised in Washington, D.C. She has since moved back to North Carolina. His next romantic involvement is with a rising star in the PD, Detective Brianna (Bree) Stone, whom he married in the 2010 book Cross Fire.
Maria was originally thought to have been killed by an antagonist named Michael "The Butcher" Sullivan. However, in Cross, Cross learns that his best friend, John Sampson, and another detective, Rakeem Powell, killed Maria's real murderer. Sampson couldn't bring himself to tell Cross because he knew that Cross would be unable to deal with the fact that he never did it himself.
When Cross needs to talk to someone about his problems, he meets with another psychologist, Dr. Adele. Ultimately, Cross goes to work for her as an analyst. In Double Cross he meets Brianna ("Bree") Stone and marries her in Cross Fire where he must face off against Kyle Craig again - until Craig kills himself at the end.
Read more about this topic: Alex Cross
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