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Jeff Kinney (author)

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Jeffrey Patrick Kinney (born February 19, 1971) is an American cartoonist, producer and author of children's books, including the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. He is also attributed as the creator of the child-oriented website Poptropica. He also appeared in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films as Holly Hills' father.[1]

Jeff Kinney
Jeff Kinney Book Signing, November 2011 (1).jpg
Kinney signing books in November 2011
BornJeffrey Patrick Kinney
(1971-02-19) February 19, 1971 (age 47)
Fort Washington, Maryland, U.S.
ResidencePlainville, Massachusetts, U.S.
  • Author
  • cartoonist
  • game designer
  • producer
  • actor
Spouse(s)Julie Kinney (m. 2003)
Writing career
GenreChildren's novels, realistic fiction, satire, comedy
  • Novels
  • films
Notable worksDiary of a Wimpy Kid


Early lifeEdit

Jeff Kinney was born and brought up in Fort Washington, Maryland, United States by Madeline and Bruce Kinney. Kinney attended Potomac Landing elementary, and later attended Bishop McNamara High School. He has an older brother and sister, and a younger brother.[2] He attended the University of Maryland, College Park in the early 1990s. It was in college that Kinney created a popular comic strip, Idgoof, which ran in the campus newspaper, The Diamondback.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book seriesEdit

In January 1998, Kinney brought up the idea of a middle-school weakling named Greg Heffley, who writes illustrated stories about his personal life. In May 2004, Funbrain and Jeff Kinney released an online version of the story, titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The website made daily entries until June 2005.[3] He worked on his book for almost eight years, before showing it to a publisher in New York.

In February 2006, during the New York Comic Con, Jeff signed a multi-book deal with publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc., to turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid into a print series.[4]

The book became an instant hit, with the online version receiving about 20 million views as of 2007. When many online readers requested a printed version, Kinney agreed, and in April 2007, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was published.[3] To date, sixteen Wimpy Kid books have been released, including a do-it-yourself book and a movie diary.[5] In April 2009, TIME named Kinney one of The World's Most Influential People.[6] In 2015, the series won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favorite Book.[7]

Professional workEdit

Kinney at a book signing event in Israel, 2016

Kinney works full-time as a writer and designer of online games.[8] He also created the kid-friendly website Poptropica.[9] The Poptropica includes two islands called "Wimpy Wonderland" and "Wimpy Boardwalk", where the Diary of a Wimpy Kid characters and events are featured in the Poptropica universe.[9]

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has over 200 million copies in print worldwide as of 2018 and was developed into feature films for which Kinney served as executive producer. Kinney had also wrote a section for Guys Read which is a book series written by a number of authors. His contribution contains elements from his Wimpy Kid books. For example, one character gave his little brother cold spaghetti and told him it was hot.

In May 2015, Kinney and his wife Julie opened "An Unlikely Story," a local bookstore and cafe in Plainville, Massachusetts.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

On December 14, 2003, Jeff Kinney married Julie Kinney. They have two boys together, Will and Grant.[11] Kinney attended Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, majored in Computer Science at the University in Maryland, College Park, and lives in Plainville, Massachusetts.[12]



A film based on the first book was released on March 19, 2010.[13] It was produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Thor Freudenthal. The film starred Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley,[14] Robert Capron as Rowley Jefferson, Rachael Harris as Susan Heffley, Steve Zahn as Frank Heffley, Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley, Connor and Owen Fielding as Manny Heffley, Chloë Grace Moretz as a new character named Angie, Grayson Russell as Fregley, Laine MacNeil as Patty Farrell, and Karan Brar as Chirag Gupta.[15][16]

A second film, based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, was released on March 25, 2011. Zachary Gordon returned as Greg Heffley.[17] Steve Zahn (Frank Heffley) and Rachael Harris (Susan Heffley) also returned. The film was directed by David Bowers and the screenplay was written by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah. A few new people appeared in the film, including Peyton List as Holly Hills.

A third film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, based on The Last Straw and Dog Days, was released on August 3, 2012. Kinney had a small role in the film as the father of Heather Hills.

A fourth film, based on The Long Haul, was announced by Kinney via Twitter in April 2016. It was released on May 19, 2017, featuring an entirely new cast. Jeff Kinney also had a cameo in the film as the owner of a booth at a convention.


  1. ^ Lombardi, Ken (March 25, 2011). ""Wimpy Kid" author Jeff Kinney on surprise success". CBS News. Retrieved September 30, 2018. And this time, the author even got a chance at a surprise cameo as the father of Greg's love interest, Holly Hills (Peyton R. List, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice").
  2. ^ Nick McGrath. "Jeff Kinney: 'People ask me, is Greg really you?'". the Guardian.
  3. ^ a b "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Funbrain. Family Education Network. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  4. ^ Mehegan, David (April 7, 2008). "Story of the weak". The Boston Globe. Plainville, MA. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "WIMPY 2 LAST". India Today. November 3, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Simpson, Forrest (April 30, 2009). "The 2009 TIME 100". TIME. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Kids' Choice Awards 2015: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. March 28, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  8. ^, Jeff Kinney's webpage
  9. ^ a b "Family Education Network".
  10. ^ Fiore, Rebecca (May 29, 2015). "'Wimpy Kid' author opens bookstore in Plainville". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  11. ^ MONEYBAGS (10 March 2010). "Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #2)". Barnes & Noble.
  12. ^ "Author Jeff Kinney biography and book list".
  13. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – On Double DVD and Blu-ray Now". Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  14. ^ Zachary Gordon cast as "Wimpy Kid" from Reuters. July 24, 2009.
  15. ^ DICK STEEL (19 March 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". IMDb.
  16. ^ ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)" on". March 19, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  17. ^ Times, Los Angeles (April 3, 2010). "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' film sequel planned". LA Times. Retrieved April 3, 2010.

External linksEdit