Tyler Perry was born September 13th, 1969, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He experienced a very tough upbringing that vastly influenced his success later on as a filmmaker, playwright and actor. His was a childhood stained with the mark of adversity and poverty, for which he suffered greatly. To have excelled the way he did is a testament to his resilience, creativity, sense of purpose and determination.

Early Life and Beginnings Of Tyler Perry:

Young Emmitt Perry Jr. faced many devastating challenges as a child, probably the most severe being the physical and emotional abuse from his father Emmitt Perry Sr. In short, he described it as living in hell. The abuse he experienced at home led him to seek escape in his vivid imagination. Tyler vividly remembers running so hard and fast from his father as a child that he saw himself running outside of himself ahead of himself. Being severely whipped by his dad for no specific reason resulted in wails and broken skin, which pushed him to the brink of suicide. In an attempt, he slit his wrist before he turned the age of ten.
Perry found peace and serenity only through writing. His creation of innovative storylines would be a means to release the stresses of his everyday life. This inclination toward storytelling would become the foundation of his future endeavors.
At the age of 16 Perry changed his name from Emmitt to Tyler in an attempt at a rebirth, a change of identity in order to distance himself from his troubled past and establish a rejuvenation of spirit and character.
Despite several setbacks including dropping out of high school, Tyler didn’t allow it to deter him from achieving his dreams. He relocated to Atlanta in the early 1990’s, where he initially struggled to make ends meet. He lived in his car and took odd jobs while refining his skills as a writer. Kotch Magazine.

Perry’s breakthrough came in the form of his stage play “I Know I’ve Been Changed”. While the production faced criticism and financial challenges, Perry’s determination to let his work be seen would not be revoked. He continued to sharpen his skills and produce more plays, gradually building a dedicated fan base. His unique writing style had a blend of humor, drama and relatable themes which eventually resonated with audiences, setting the stage for his ascent in the entertainment industry.

Filmmaking Success:

In 2005 Perry ventured into his first feature film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” The film gained traction and became a success for Tyler who was now a household name and risen to the forefront of the entertainment industry.
Tyler centered his production on African American families, but not without some amount of criticism for “reinforcing stereotypes.” Perry’s ability to bring his stories to real life allowed people to see a reflection of them in his writing. This would propel Tyler to even greater heights.


One of Perry’s most outstanding characters is a no-nonsense, wise-cracking elderly woman played by Perry himself, called “Madea.” Madea became a cultural hit and a central figure in many of Perry’s productions. Madea contributed largely to Tyler’s success and her popularity didn’t wane. In fact it surpassed people’s expectations. As a result, Perry incorporated Madea into various mediums, including stage plays and books.

Perry continued to diversify his talents and ventured into television, creating shows like “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “The Have and Have Nots.” Perry’s insatiable appetite led to him establishing the Tyler Perry studios, a film and television Production Company, further cementing his presence in the entertainment industry.

In 2019, he made history by becoming the first African American to own a major film studio outright.


Tyler is also highly respected for his philanthropy. One of his greatest achievements is how much he has given to communities around the world. Since 2008, Tyler Perry has been bringing clean water to needy communities. He has donated funds to provide clean water to 65,079 people in various countries, including Ethiopia, Haiti, India, and Cambodia. He has donated millions of dollars to non-profit organizations to help eradicate homelessness. His generosity extends to a variety of other causes including supporting organizations that focus on education and Healthcare.

Despite his deep struggle from the ground up to achieving his desired milestone or height of success, he has faced criticism. Many continue to argue that his work perpetuates stereotypes, while others feel he lacks diversity in his portrayals of Black characters. However Perry remains poised and focused as he continues telling stories which pin point the complexities and challenges faced by the greater portion of African American communities. That this resonates with his audience underscores, mission accomplished.


Tyler’s life story joins the league of unparalleled. It may be unfathomable to some that a young boy who was mentally and sexually abused on a consistent basis by adults, men and women alike, could have processed and imbibed psychological healing.

Becoming one of the most prolific screenwriters and directors despite the atrocities he endured comes with raw exposure to the indwelling spirit of the man they call Tyler Perry. His unwavering determination, resilience, and perseverance, should foster a rare depth of faith and hope to people of color globally. I take my hat off to the Life of Perry.

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Contributed by Ayun Daley

Marlene Daley
Marlene Daley
Founder & Producer of KotchMagazine,com, Belovedones.Love and Kotch.Media


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