Deborah Gregory

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Deborah Gregory is the author of the popular book series The Cheetah Girls.[1] She was also the co-producer of the Disney Channel Original Movies The Cheetah Girls and The Cheetah Girls 2, as well as an executive producer for The Cheetah Girls: One World.

Early life[edit]

Deborah Gregory was born in Brooklyn, New York. When she was only three years old, her mother was institutionalized, and young Deborah was put into foster care until she outgrew the system at the age of 18. As a teenager, she started designing her own clothes and fantasized about a singing career. At the age of eighteen, she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and received her A.A.S. She graduated in 1986 with a BS in Cultural Studies from Empire State College (Metropolitan Center, NYC).

The Cheetah Girls[edit]

The book series is about five ambitious girls who form a singing group and achieve their dreams in the fictional "Jiggy Jungle." These girls have their own set of ethics as well as their own language, which Gregory provides a glossary for in her books. The girls pictured on the cover of the books are made up of an actual three girl singing group called Before Dark, an aspiring ballerina and a performer who was starring in "The Lion King." Gregory's inspiration for the musical group was the R&B group Destiny's Child and her own childhood aspirations of musical stardom.[2] The original Disney movie starred Raven-Symoné. It also starred Kiely Williams and Adrienne Bailon of 3LW. Two music albums were produced as a result of the two Disney Channel movies. There are 22 books in the Cheetah Girls series, six of which are books that tie directly to the films. In 2001, the series became the Blackboard Children's Book of the Year.

Fashion[edit]

After graduating from FIT, Gregory went from designing and making clothes, to traveling to Europe and spending time as a runway model. Later in her career, specializing in cheetah print and plus sizes, Gregory opened the boutiques Toto and Fun in Larger Sizes, both located in New York. Aside from hand-making her clothes from a younger age, Deborah Gregory now has a collection of hand-crafted accessories on sale through her company Cheetahrama. These designs include necklaces, flasks, wallets, cigarette holders, business cardholders, compact mirrors, and shoes.

Writing[edit]

Gregory has written for various magazines including Grace, More, US, and Entertainment Weekly. She has also won awards, acknowledging her contributions to "Essence Magazine" since 1992. In 1999, she penned the book series The Cheetah Girls. The books were adapted into a series of original movies by Disney Channel, starting in 2003. She also wrote the Catwalk trilogy including "Catwalk", "Catwalk: Strike a Pose", and "Catwalk: Rip the Runaway." [3]

Comedy[edit]

Having written humor pieces in a variety of magazines, Gregory created "Working Girlz," an alternative-comedy one woman show. It debuted in 1996 at the New York International Fringe Festival and won the award for Best Comedy in 2001. It was also featured at Caroline's Comedy Club and Dixon Place in New York.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Epstein, Susie Norris (February 13, 2008). "Author's creation, Disney's jackpot". L.A. Times. 
  2. ^ http://www.cheetahrama.com/press.html
  3. ^ Roberts, Tara (2008). "Get an inside scoop on the author of Catwalk.". Seventeen.