Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but moved to Harlem with his foster parents at age three. He was brought up and went to public school there. He attended Stuyvesant High School until the age of seventeen when he joined the army.
After serving four years in the army, he worked at various jobs and earned a BA from Empire State College. He has been writing full time since 1977.
Walter Dean Myers
Walter has been writing since childhood and publishing since 1969 when he won the Council on Interracial Books for Children contest which resulted in the publication of his first book for children, Where Does the Day Go?, by Parent's Magazine Press. Since then he has published over seventy books for children and young adults. He has received many awards for his work in this field including the Coretta Scott King Award, five times. Two of his books were awarded Newbery Honors. He has been awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award and the Virginia Hamilton Award. For one of his books, Monster, he has received the first Michael Printz Award for Young Adult literature awarded by the American Library Association. Monster and Autobiography of My Dead Brother were selected as National Book Award Finalists.
In addition to the publication of his books, Walter has contributed to educational and literary publications. He has visited schools to speak to children, teachers, librarians, and parents. For three years he led a writing workshop for children in a school in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Walter Dean Myers was married, had three grown children and lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. He died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He was 76 years old.