Dominique Lapierre (born 30 July 1931 in Châtelaillon, Charente-Maritime, France) is a French author.Dominique Lapierre was born in Châtelaillon-Plage, Charente-Maritime, France. At the age of thirteen, he travelled to America with his father who was a diplomat (Consul General of France). He attended the Jesuit school in New Orleans and became a paper boy for the New Orleans Item. He developed interests in travelling, writing and cars.
Lapierre renovated a 1927 Nash that his mother gave him and decided to travel across America during his summer holidays. To earn his way he painted mail boxes. Later, he received a scholarship to study the Aztec civilization in Mexico. He hitch-hiked throughout America living an adventurous existence, wrote articles, washed windows in churches, gave lectures, and even found a job as a siren cleaner on a boat returning to Europe. One day a truck driver who picked him up on the road to Chicago stole his suitcase. He found the driver before the police did. The Chicago Tribune paid him $100 for his exclusive story. His twenty thousand miles of adventure beginning with just thirty dollars in his pocket led to his first book A Dollar for a Thousand Kilometers. It became one of the best sellers of postwar France and other European countries.