Jeff Kinney (author)

Jeff Kinney

Kinney at a book signing event in November 2011
Born Jeffrey Patrick Kinney
(1971-02-19) February 19, 1971
Fort Washington, Maryland
Residence Plainville, Massachusetts
Occupation author, cartoonist, game designer, movie director, actor, producer
Notable work Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Spouse(s) Julie Kinney
Children 2

Jeffrey Patrick "Jeff" Kinney (born February 19, 1971) is an American game designer, cartoonist, producer, actor, movie director 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's father. Kinney was born and brought up in Fort Washington, Maryland, United States.

He has an older brother, sister and a younger brother.[1] He attended the University of Maryland at College Park in the early 1990s. It was in college that Kinney created a popular comic strip, Igdoof, which ran in the campus newspaper, The Diamondback.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series

In January 1998, Diary of a Wimpy Kid officially began, when 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 Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The website made daily entries until June 2005.[2] 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.[3]

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.[2] To date, thirteen Wimpy Kid books have been released, including a do-it-yourself book and a movie diary.[4] In April 2009, TIME named Kinney one of The World's Most Influential People.[5] In 2016, the series won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favorite Book.

Millions of children enjoy the books, because of the humor between good friends, Greg Heffley and Rowley Jefferson.

Professional work

Kinney works full-time as a writer and designer of online games.[6] He also created the kid-friendly website Poptropica.[7] 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.[7]

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has 58 million copies in print worldwide as of 2010 and was developed into feature films for which Kinney served as executive producer and, in the case of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, as an POO. Kinney 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.[8]

Personal life

On December 14, 2003, Jeff Kinney married Julie Kinney. They have two sons together, Will and Grant.[9] 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[10]



A film based on the first book was released on March 19, 2010.[11] It was produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Thor Freudenthal. The film starred Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley,[12] 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.[13][14]

A second film, based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, was released on March 25, 2011. Zachary Gordon returned as Greg Heffley.[15] 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 via Twitter by Jeff Kinney in April 2016. It will feature an entirely new cast. Young actors who want to audition for the part of Greg or Rowley can visit for more information.


  1. Nick McGrath. "Jeff Kinney: 'People ask me, is Greg really you?'". the Guardian.
  2. 1 2 "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Funbrain. Family Education Network. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  3. "Story of the weak". 7 April 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  4. "WIMPY 2 LAST". 3 November 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  5. The 2009 TIME 100: Jeff Kinney Time magazine's 2009 list of The World's Most Influential People
  6., Jeff Kinney's webpage
  7. 1 2 "Family Education Network".
  8. Fiore, Rebecca. "'Wimpy Kid' author opens bookstore in Plainville". Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  9. MONEYBAGS (10 March 2010). "Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #2)". Barnes & Noble.
  10. "Author Jeff Kinney biography and book list".
  11. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – On Double DVD and Blu-ray Now". Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  12. Zachary Gordon cast as "Wimpy Kid" from Reuters. July 24, 2009.
  13. DICK STEEL (19 March 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". IMDb.
  14. ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)" on". March 19, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  15. Times, Los Angeles (April 3, 2010). "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' film sequel planned". LA Times. Retrieved April 3, 2010.

External links

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