How much was Walter Dean Myers worth?
|Net Worth:||$90 Million
|Date of Birth:||August 12, 1937|
|Country:||United States of America|
About Walter Dean Myers
Walter Dean Myers, also known as Walter Milton Myers, was a children’s book author who lived from August 12, 1937, until July 1, 2014. His estimated net worth was $90 million. Myers was actually born Walter Milton Myers, but Florence and Herbert Dean adopted him as a newborn. Later, in order to commemorate his foster parents, he changed his middle name to Dean. In the 1940s and 1950s, Myers spent his formative years in Harlem. He was an avid basketball player who aspired to play professionally. He went to school and discovered that he liked to write, although he frequently got into problems and didn’t finish his job. He can still hear the teacher telling him, “It’s what you do,” after noticing his writing in class.
Myers left school at the age of 17 to enlist. He spent three years in the army before returning home to work a variety of menial jobs. He submitted a narrative to a writing competition in 1969, and the winning entry became the picture book Where Does the Day Go? Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff was his first novel for teenagers, published in 1975. Myers discovered that he enjoyed writing for teenagers. He began writing full-time in 1977, and since then, he has published more than 80 volumes. Myers currently devotes his time to helping teenagers in the community. He has three adult children and resides in New Jersey with his wife.
Censorship and Books
Myers has primarily written fiction for more than forty years, although has also produced works of poetry, history, a biography, biographies, dramas, and children’s picture books. Together with his son Christopher Myers, he has also collaborated on writing projects.
The major challenges facing African American kids who reside in inner cities are the subject of Myers’ teen books. Based on his own experiences growing up, Myers believes he can relate to these teenagers. Myers gave the following explanation when asked why he writes for teenagers: “The young adult and middle grade periods of my life were so vivid and, in looking back, so influential in how I would live the rest of my life, that I am drawn to [them] over and over again.”
Several of Myers’ writings have faced criticism because he writes about real-world problems including war, bullying, poverty, and drug usage. These issues have been attributed to offensive language, graphic violence, and sexual explicitness. American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, source. The American Library Association lists Myers’ novel Fallen Angels as one of the most problematic books of the past 20 years due to its gory battle imagery and too profane language (Source: American Library Association).
Censorship is something Walter Dean Myers is very familiar with. Due to the mature topics and language in many of his award-winning books, many of them have been targeted for censorship by various organizations and people.
What is Myers’ opinion on censorship? “I find it to be stupid. People don’t realize how hurtful it is to keep information from them. You aren’t defending them. (Huffington Post, source)
In 2001, author Judy Blume requested original short stories from authors whose works had been challenged or suppressed for an anthology to benefit the non-profit National Coalition Against Censorship.
The Beast in the Labyrinth, a short story by Myers, was included in the anthology. Places I Never Meant to Be, source
Important Works of Myers
Among many other notable works, Walter Dean Myers is most known for Fallen Angels, Monster, and Shooter. The Vietnam War-themed novel Fallen Angels is a common text taught in English classes in many junior high and high schools. Here is a sample of the Scholastic teacher’s study guide for the books Fallen Angels and Sunrise Over Fallujah. A complete bibliography of Walter Dean Myers’s works can be found on his website.
Awards for Walter Dean Myers
Walter Dean Myers has won numerous literary honors for young people throughout the course of his four-decade writing career, including the first Michael L. Printz Award, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, and five Coretta Scott King Awards. He has won the Newbery Honor Medal twice, placed in the finals of the National Book Award twice, and won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor five times. For a “lifetime contribution to young adult literature,” Myers was given the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1994. The Coretta Scott-King Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an African American author or illustrator for substantial literary achievements to children and young adults, was given to him as the award’s first winner. (Sources: American Library Association website and Walter Dean Myers website) James H. Billington, the Congress Librarian, designated Walter Dean Myers the 2012–2013 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature on January 3, 2012. According to Billington, one of America’s foremost authors of books for young people is Walter Dean Myers. He has spent his whole life advocating for young people to read, and at schools and detention facilities all around the nation, he has put his words into action.
Case 219, a short film based on Myers’ novel Shooter, was released in February 2011. Director James Bruce mentioned in an interview that his teenage son had read the novel and suggested to his father that a movie be made. Bruce concurred. The film is an independent production. (Referring to Shadow and Act)
Facts about Walter Dean Myers:
- Myers and Ross Workman, a 13-year-old fan, struck up a cordial contact after Myers forwarded him an email in 2007. They agreed to write a book together at Myers’ suggestion, and HarperCollins released their novel Kick in 2011.
- For the sake of his younger brother, who perished in the Vietnam War, Myers authored the book Fallen Angels.
- Myers was teased by other pupils when he was younger because of a serious speech impediment.
Myers was the third American National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, serving in 2012 and 2013. Walter Dean Myers’s net worth is projected to be $90 million as of 2023.