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Youth and the Power of the Written Word with Walter Dean Myers

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Co-hosts Eric Komoroff and Dr. Jason Stein speak about the written word with acclaimed author of children and young adult literature, Walter Dean Myers. Walter was born in 1937 in West Virginia and for an unknown reason was given to a man named Herbert Dean who lived in Harlem, where he was raised in Harlem by Herbert and his wife, Florence. Suffering with a speech impediment, he cultivated a habit of writing poetry and short stories and acquired an early love of reading. A high school drop-out (although now Stuyvesant High claims him as a graduate), he joined the army on his 17th birthday. He later held many positions with various agencies including the New York State Department of Labor, the post office, a rehabilitation center and a transformer company. All during this time, Mr. Myers was writing for various magazines and periodicals. The turning point in his career came when he won a contest run by the Council on Interracial Books for Children with his book entitled, Where Does a Day Go?, in 1969. Since then he has supported himself, his second wife, and four children with his very prolific writing in the area of children's and young adult literature. For a full bibliography: http://www.walterdeanmyers.net/biblio.html. He volunteers at schools in Jersey City where is presently lives. He received his degree from Empire State College in 1984.