Jeff Kinney

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Jeff Kinney
Jeff Kinney Book Signing, November 2011 (1).jpg
Kinney signing books in November 2011
Jeffrey Patrick Kinney

(1971-02-19) February 19, 1971 (age 48)
ResidencePlainville, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park, (B.A.)
  • Author
  • cartoonist
  • game designer
  • producer
  • actor
Julie Kinney (m. 2003)
Writing career
GenreChildren's novels, realistic fiction, satire, comedy
  • Novels
  • films
Notable worksDiary of a Wimpy Kid

Jeffrey Patrick Kinney (born February 19, 1971) is an American author and cartoonist, best known for the children's book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He also created the child-oriented website Poptropica.

Early life[edit]

Jeff Kinney was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Kinney attended Potomac Landing Elementary School and later Bishop McNamara High School. He has an older brother and sister, and a younger brother.[1] 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.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series[edit]

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.[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, eighteen Wimpy Kid books have been released, including 2 movie diaries and 2 Do-It-Yourself Books, and even a biography that Gregory's best friend wrote.[4] In April 2009, TIME named Kinney one of The World's Most Influential People.[5] In 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 the series won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favorite Book.[6]

Professional work[edit]

jeff kinney and his family members
Kinney at a book signing event in Israel, 2016

Kinney works full-time as a writer/illustrator. He also created the kid-friendly website Poptropica which [7] 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 over 200 million copies in print worldwide as of 2018 and was developed into feature films for which Kinney served as executive producer.

In May 2015, Kinney and his wife Julie opened "An Unlikely Story," a local bookstore and cafe in Plainville, Massachusetts.[8] Kinney advocates that kids should spend time reading as an alternative to screen time.[9]

Kinney guest-hosted 10 episodes of the 10th season of WBGH local quiz bowl production High School Quiz Show while regular host Billy Costa was away on a special assignment. Kinney hosted the second half of the first-round games, the quarter-finals, and the semi-finals, while Costa hosted the first half of the first-round games and returned to Boston in time for the finals.

Personal life[edit]

On December 14, 2003, Jeff Kinney married Julie Kinney. They have two boys together, Will and Grant.[10] 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.[11]


  1. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (April 1, 2007)
  2. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules" (February 1, 2008)
  3. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: The Last Straw" (January 13, 2009)
  4. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: Dog Days" (October 12, 2009)
  5. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 5: The Ugly Truth" (November 9, 2010)
  6. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6: Cabin Fever" (November 15, 2011)
  7. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7: The Third Wheel" (November 13, 2012)
  8. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 8: Hard Luck" (November 5, 2013)
  9. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 9: The Long Haul" (November 4, 2014)
  10. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School" (November 3, 2015)
  11. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down" (November 1, 2016)
  12. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 12: The Getaway" (November 7, 2017)
  13. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 13: The Meltdown" (October 30, 2018)
  14. "Diary of Greg Heffley: by Greg Heffley's Best Friend, Rowley Jefferson" (February 19, 2019)
  15. "Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal" (April 9, 2019)
  16. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 14: Wrecking Ball" (November 5, 2019)
  17. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself-Book" (2008)
  18. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself-Book (2011)
  19. The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: How Greg Hefffley Went Hollywood (2012)
  20. The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: The Next Chapter: The Making Of The Long Haul (2017)


A film based on the first book was released on March 19, 2010.[12] It was produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Thor Freudenthal. The film starred Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley,[13] 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.[14][15] Kinney appeared in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films as Holly Hills' father.[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. ^ McGrath, Nick. "Jeff Kinney: 'People ask me, is Greg really you?'". the Guardian.
  2. ^ a b "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Funbrain. Family Education Network. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  3. ^ Mehegan, David (April 7, 2008). "Story of the weak". The Boston Globe. Plainville, MA. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Simpson, Forrest (April 30, 2009). "The 2009 TIME 100". TIME. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Kids' Choice Awards 2015: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. March 28, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Family Education Network".
  8. ^ Fiore, Rebecca (May 29, 2015). "'Wimpy Kid' author opens bookstore in Plainville". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Wimpy Kid Author: I can't get my kids off Fortnite".
  10. ^ MONEYBAGS (10 March 2010). "Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #2)". Barnes & Noble.
  11. ^ "Author Jeff Kinney biography and book list".
  12. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – On Double DVD and Blu-ray Now". Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  13. ^ Zachary Gordon cast as "Wimpy Kid" from Reuters. July 24, 2009.
  14. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". IMDb. 19 March 2010.
  15. ^ ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)" on". March 19, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  16. ^ 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").
  17. ^ "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' film sequel planned". LA Times. April 3, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010.

External links[edit]