Shonda Rhimes (born January 13, 1970) is an American screenwriter, director and producer. She is best known as the creator, head writer, and executive producer of television series Grey's Anatomy and its spin-off Private Practice. In May 2007, she was named one of Time magazine's 100 Time 100 people who help shape the world.
Growing up with her mother (professor), father (university administrator) and five siblings in Park Forest South, Illinois (now University Park), Shonda Rhimes exhibited an early affinity toward storytelling. Rhimes has said that her time spent as a candy striper while in high school sparked an interest in hospital environments.
Rhimes attended Marian Catholic High School, Dartmouth College and earned a bachelor's degree. At Dartmouth she divided her time between fiction and directing and performing in plays. As a Dartmouth alumna, Rhimes often peppers the scripts with references to the college. After college, she relocated to San Francisco with an older sibling and took a job in advertising to pay the bills. But her desire to create overtook her need for financial stability, and she headed for Los Angeles to attend USC to study screenwriting. There, she quickly rose to the top of her class and earned the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship Award. She earned a master of fine arts from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.