Jennings Michael Burch

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Jennings Michael Burch
Born (1941-04-27)April 27, 1941
Manhattan, New York
Died January 15, 2013(2013-01-15) (aged 71)
Carmel, New York
Occupation Writer
Alma mater John Jay College
Notable works They Cage the Animals At Night

Jennings Michael Burch (April 27, 1941 – January 15, 2013)[1] was an American writer and author of the 1984 best-selling autobiography They Cage the Animals At Night.[2][3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Jennings Michael Burch was born in the South Bronx, New York and spent most of his childhood in foster homes. A single parent, Burch's mother placed her children in foster care in 1949, when Jennings was eight, but claimed that she would return. Between 1949 and 1954, Burch had stayed in 32 foster homes, moved with his family[which?] three times, and stayed with at least three sets of foster parents. He also lost his biological brother Jerome, whom he hardly knew.[citation needed]

He earned a B.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College in Manhattan, New York City, New York.[5]


He worked as a chauffeur, a short order cook, a magazine pressman and New York police officer.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Burch was married three times. He had two biological daughters (first marriage), one adopted daughter, (second marriage) and a son (third marriage).


  1. ^ "Jennings Michael Burch dead at 71". Putnam County Courier. January 17, 2013. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Michael Jackson aimed to direct movie about foster children". Reuters. July 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ Burch, Jennings Michael, They Cage The Animals At Night New American Library. ISBN 978-0-451-15941-0
  4. ^ "Michael Jackson's Unrealized Dream: Career in the Film Industry | Rolling Stone". Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  5. ^ Burch, J.M. (1985). They Cage the Animals at Night. Penguin Group USA. ISBN 9780451159410. Retrieved 2015-04-13.