Profile of Jeff Kinney
Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has made him one of the most successful children’s authors of the 21st century. The stories, cartoon-illustrated diaries about a gawkish and sometimes inept middle-schooler named Greg Heffley, have been popular hits online, in print, and in movies. Jeff Kinney grew up in Maryland; his father worked at the Pentagon and his mother was a teacher. He attended Villanova University and then the University of Maryland, where he began cartooning in earnest. After graduating in 1993 with a degree in Criminal Justice, he began work as a software producer and web designer, while also working on his early ideas for Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He published the first installments of the story on the children’s educational site Funbrain.com in 2004. They were so well-received online that Kinney landed a multi-book print publishing deal. The first book, also titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid, was published in 2007, and its blend of charming drawings and what Kinney has called “pre-adolescent angst” made it a fast hit. It was followed by many sequels, among them Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2008), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth (2010), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck (2013) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School (2015). By 2015, Kinney’s website reported that 150 million copies of the books were in print in a total of 45 languages. Kinney has continued to work as a website and game developer, and is the creator of the children’s site Poptropica.com.
Jeff Kinney opened a bookstore, An Unlikely Story, in Plainville, Massachusetts in 2015… A film version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid was released in 2010; it was followed by sequels in 2011 and 2012… Jeff Kinney and his wife Julie were married in 2000. They have two sons: Will (born 2002) and Grant (born 2005)… The original Diary of a Wimpy Kid book was translated into Latin in 2015 by Monsignor Daniel Gallagher; the Latin title is Commentarii de Inepto Puero.
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