Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney didn’t grow up wanting to be a children’s author. His dream was to become a newspaper cartoonist, but he wasn’t able to get his comic strips syndicated.

In 1998 Jeff came up with the idea for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a story about a middle-school weakling named Greg Heffley. Jeff worked on his book for almost eight years before showing it to a publisher in New York.

Jeff Kinney was born in 1971 in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland in the early 1990s. It was there that Jeff ran a comic strip called “Igdoof” in the campus newspaper, and he knew he wanted to be a cartoonist.

However, Jeff was not successful in getting his comic strip syndicated after college, and in 1998 he started writing down ideas for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which he hoped to turn into a book. Jeff worked on the book for six years before publishing it online on in daily installments. To date, the online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has more than 80 million visits, and is typically read by more than 70,000 kids a day.

In 2006, Jeff signed a multi-book deal with publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc. to turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid into a print series. The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book was published in 2007 and became an instant bestseller. Just a year later, more than 100,000 copies were in print in the United States alone. With each subsequent book, in-print numbers continue to grow exponentially both in the U.S. and abroad. The ninth book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, sold more than 2 million copies in all formats around the world in its first week. There are more than 164 million copies of the series in print. 

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a fixture on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. The series has remained on the New York Times bestseller lists since the publication of the first book, for more than 450 weeks total, and more than 350 on the series list. The books are currently available in 51 editions in 45 languages.

Since initial publication in 2007, the series has gone on to win many regional and national awards around the globe including two Children’s Choice Book Awards and five Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Book. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world. In addition, three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally. 

Jeff Kinney is also the creator of Poptropica, which was named one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Websites. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Massachusetts, where they own a bookstore, An Unlikely Story.


CNBC Squawk Box, February 10, 2016

The big business of ‘Wimpy Kid’


USA Today

USA Today, January 24, 2016

USA Today’s top 100 books of 2015


Chicago Tribune, December 31, 2015

6 book trends in 2016: Look into the future


MPR News, December 29, 2015

From coloring books to Harper Lee, a good year for paper


New York Post, November 18, 2015 

‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ boasts strong worldwide sales Publishers Weekly, November 12, 2015 

Latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid Debuts as Global Bestseller


USA Today

USA Today, November 11, 2015

‘Wimpy Kid’ Tops Books List


The Boston Globe, November 11, 2015

‘Wimpy Kid’ fans write in, endlessly

Publishers Weekly, November 3, 2015

Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Crazy Year


Good Morning America, October 26, 2015

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author Releases 10th Book


CNBC, October 30, 2015

Worldwide ‘Wimpy’ Success


The TODAY Show, September 20, 2015

‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ author opens book store Weekly, August 20, 2015

Veni, Vidi, Wimpy: Translating a Children’s Classic for Classicists


The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2015

How Do You Say ‘Wimpy Kid’ in Latin?         


The Boston Globe, July 28, 2015

‘Wimpy Kid’ buys its author’s dream bookstore


NYT The New York Times, May 22, 2015
The Bookstore Built by Jeff Kinney, the ‘Wimpy Kid’


USA TodayUSA Today, March 26, 2015

Exclusive: New ‘Wimpy’ book set for Nov.


CBS News, January 4, 2015
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” author’s better dream Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2015

The Bestselling Books of 2014 Weekly, March 20, 2014 
Wimpy Kid #9 Set to Arrive in November


Huffington Post, December 6, 2013
‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ listed as one of the Top 5 Gift Choices to Move Beyond the Toy Hype

 Rolling Stone, December 6, 2013
Rowley Jefferson: One of the 50 Things Millennials Know that Gen-Xers Don’t


The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2013
See Grown-Ups Read


 The TODAY Show, November 25, 2013
‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s’ author Jeff Kinney announces 30,000 copy book donation to TODAY show’s 20th annual Toy Drive


  The Oregonian, November 19, 2013
‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s’ author Jeff Kinney talks about his astonishing success before huge book signing in Beaverton


Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2013
‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s’ Jeff Kinney hits the middle school road