Jerry Pinkney Biography: Age, Wife, Dies at 81, Family, Net worth, Wiki

Jerry Pinkney was an American children’s book writer and illustrator. “The Lion & the Mouse” is one of his famous works among his more than 100 books writing, illustrations, as well as novels.

For the book, the late Pinkney was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 2010. Similarly, he was also awarded the prestigious ‘Boston Globe-Horn Book Award’ as well as five Coretta Scott King Awards for illustration.

‘HEARTBREAKING’; Jerry Pinkney, a well-known and award-winning children’s book illustrator, passed away at the age of 81.

Jerry Pinkney, a well-known illustrator, has passed away. Pinkney died of a heart attack today, according to his long-time agent Sheldon Fogelman. He was 81 years old.

In the world of children’s publishing, Pinkney was a legend. For his picture book The Lion and the Mouse, he received a Caldecott prize in 2010, as well as five Coretta Scott King honors from the American Library Association and a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Illustrators. Beginning with The Adventures of Spider: West African Folk Tales in 1964, he put his stamp on over a hundred books, largely for children and teenagers, throughout the course of a nearly six-decade career.

Gen X readers will remember Pinkney’s covers for Virginia Hamilton’s The Planet of Junior Brown from 1971 and Mildred D. Taylor’s novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in 1977. And millennials will remember the numerous books by Julius Lester that he illustrated, including John Henry and The Last Tales of Uncle Remus. Pinkney also frequently collaborated with his wife, Gloria Jean, a children’s book author.

Our country was still recovering from the Dust Bowl

“I was born in 1939, smack in the middle of a family of eight. Growing up in the 1940s, I was also smacked in the middle of another turbulent era in American history. Our country was still recovering from the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression was finally ending, and World War II was just beginning,” Pinkney wrote in a 2016 essay for WHYY — which you can find here. “In the 1940s, Philly was not as plainly segregated as many of the Southern states, but there was still often an implied separation of the races — limitations on where we could go, things we could do, who we could talk to.

Stores did not have any ‘whites only’ signs posted, but the ‘open’ sign on the door didn’t always mean that my friends and I really could enter and be served. I never knew if that ‘welcome’ sign included my parents, uncles, aunts, and the black adults who were our neighbors, teachers, and pastors — those very individuals who tried their best to instill a sense of self-worth in us.”

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Pinkney explained that he coped with this harsh reality by creating art. He earned money for painting supplies by shining shoes while living in a six-room, two-story house with five siblings in Philadelphia’s Germantown district. He claimed that drawing was his safe haven.

Pinkney was a mentor to numerous artists, including James Ransome and his son, Brian Pinkney, who is now a children’s book illustrator.

“I am a storyteller at heart,” Pinkney told the Society of Illustrators. “There is something special about knowing that your stories can alter the way people see the world, and their place within it.”

Jerry Pinkney Age, Date of Birth, Birthday, Family, what about his father, mother, where is he from? Early Life.

Pinkney was born in the Germantown section of the city of Philadelphia on December 22, 1939, to Willie Mae and James Pinkney.

He was the middle child in a family of five siblings. Pinkney struggled in school due to dyslexia, but excelled at drawing, even at a young age. 

jerry pinkney earlylife

During Pinkney’s youth, his mother encouraged him to develop his skills by enrolling him in art classes, but Pinkney’s father did not consider art a sustainable career until Pinkney grew older.

Jerry Pinkney Net worth, how much did he earn? 

Jerry Pinkney, without a doubt, holds an amazing figure of his net worth from his veteran literature career.

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However, he never publicized his earnings as well as the value of his personal assets during his lifetime. It is for sure that his will is passed down to his wife and children though, the exact amount is not known as of today. He upgraded to his own freelance work studio in 1971 named, ‘Jerry PinkneyStudio’.

Jerry Pinkney Wife, His Relationship, What about Children?

Jerry Pinkney was married to his only wife, Gloria Jean Pinkney. The legend and his wife lived in Croton-on-Hudson in New York. The complete insiders into their dating, as well as marriage details, are not accessible at the moment.

Similarly, the Pinkney couple shares a big family and beautiful lives with their four children; Troy, Brian, Scott, and Myles.

jerry pinkney wife

Brian also grew up to be a children’s book writer. Not to be surprised, the Pinkney children, as well as grandchildren, are involved in the arts field. Gloria has dubbed her family members’ growing career “the Pinkney tradition’. The late Brian and Gloria were able to live happily with their six grandchildren later in life.

Jerry Pinkney Career

During his early teens, Pinkney worked at a local newspaper stand, where he would pass the time by drawing city life. Pinkney’s talent caught the eye of customer and cartoonist John Liney, who worked on the Henry comic strips.  Liney showed Pinkney how artistry could be used for commercial purposes.

Pinkney attended the Murrell Dobbins Vocational High School for his secondary education and met his future wife, Gloria Jean Pinkney, during this time. He graduated from Murrell Dobbins in 1957 and was granted a full scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts). Pinkney only attended the Philadelphia College of Art for a few years, leaving to start a family with his wife Gloria.

In 1960, Pinkney began working for The Rust Craft Greeting Card Company in Dedham, Massachusetts. Pinkney later worked at Barker-Black Studio, where he illustrated his first picture book in collaboration with Joyce Cooper Arkhurst called, The Adventures of Spider: West African Folk Tales (1964). He, along with two other artists, opened Kaleidoscope Studio a few years later. Pinkney opened his own freelance studio, Jerry PinkneyStudios, in 1968.

During the 1970s, Pinkney worked on the Black Heritage Stamp Series for the United States Postal Service. During the 1980s Pinkney began to receive additional recognition for his work, including a Coretta Scott King Award for his collaboration with author Patricia McKissack on Mirandy and Brother Wind (1989). Pinkney also collaborated with the National Geographic Magazine and the National Park Service on the topic of the Underground Railroad.

Pinkney has also worked as an educator, teaching at colleges and universities like the University of Delaware, the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, New York.

Professional Memberships

A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators since 1990.

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In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed Pinkney to the National Council of the Arts.

In 2012, Pinkney was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Where did he attend his High school and University? What was his major?

Pinkney attended the Murrell Dobbins Vocational High School for his secondary education and he graduated from Murrell Dobbins in 1957 and was granted a full scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts). Pinkney only attended the Philadelphia College of Art for a few years, leaving to start a family with his wife Gloria.

Jerry Pinkney Social Media Reach

He had 1.7k followers on the photo-sharing app Instagram with the username “@jerrypinkneystudio”.

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At the same time, he was following over 400 people.

Interesting facts

EthnicityN / A
Zodiac SignN / A
Professionwriter and illustrator
Full NameJerry Pinkney
Age (as in 2021)81 years

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