With a fortune of $600 million, American writer Danielle Steel ranks fourth among the world’s richest authors according to data compiled by Forbes. Celebrity Net Worth.
The book was criticized but still sold well
Steel is known for his romance novels, many of which have reached number-one top sellers New York Times. The 75-year-old female writer is the author of 200 books with sales of up to 1 billion copies. Her books have been translated into 43 languages and 22 have been adapted for television.
In 1989, she was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for her work on the best-selling list of New York Times 381 consecutive weeks.
However, according to Publishers Weekly, Steel’s works did not receive critical acclaim. They think that her stories are superficial, shallow, and unrealistic in character development. Still, she is credited with weaving the romance of the novel.
Even Steel’s family is not interested in her books. When the presenter Good Morning America praising the milestone of 1 billion copies sold, Steel said: “My father said the books were bad, my mother had never read any. My children are not interested or read very little.”
Steel was born in New York City (USA) but spent his childhood in Paris (France). Her father is a descendant of a large brewery owner, and her mother is the daughter of a diplomat. From a young age, she attended lavish parties of her parents, exposed to the rich and famous. When his parents divorced, Steel lived with his father since the age of 8.
Steel’s novels seem formulaic, often about wealthy families facing crisis and dark things like prison, fraud, extortion and suicide. Many stories revolve around a rich, attractive woman facing a great challenge.
Some of her works are based on real events in her life. Her relationship with her second husband influenced Passion’s Promise (Promise of passion) and Now and Forever (Now and Forever), two novels that kicked off his career.
Steel’s son, Nick Traina, died by suicide in 1997. She wrote the book non-fiction His Bright Light – The Story of Nick Traina (Bright Light – Nick Traina Life Story) tells the story of Nick’s life and departure. Proceeds from the sale of the books are used to establish the Nick Traina Foundation to fund organizations dedicated to treating mental health problems.
Five husbands, married second husband in prison
Steel’s novels are dramatic, and her life is just as eventful.
At the age of 18, Steel married French-American banker Claude-Eric Lazard in 1965 and had daughter Beatrix. The two separated in 1972.
While still with Lazard, Steel met Danny Zugelder while interviewing an inmate in a prison near Lompoc, California, where Zugelder was also being held for allegedly robbing a bank. This man moved in with Steel when he was pardoned in 1973. But Zugelder went back to prison in early 1974 for robbery and rape. In 1975, they got married in the prison canteen. Steel divorced Zugelder in 1978.
Soon after, Steel married her third husband, William George Toth, who had a history of drug addiction. They gave birth to a son Nick and divorced after living together for 3 years.
No wonder the novel Remembrance (Celebration) Steel’s 1981 film is about a beautiful woman who marries her addicted husband.
Recently divorced, Steel married for the fourth time to the wealthy writer and collector John Traina in 1981. They each have two children of their own and together have five more children. Determined to spend as much time as possible with her children, Steel often writes at night, sleeping only four hours.
This is also her most productive period when she published 17 works in 8 years (1981-1989).
Unfortunately, the couple broke up after 14 years of marriage.
Steel married for the fifth time to Silicon Valley financier Thomas James Perkins. The marriage ended after four years in 2002. Steel stated that the novel The Klone and I Her story was inspired by a secret joke between her and Perkins.
Steel has a total of 9 children, her first daughter Beatrix was born in 1966 at the age of 19. The 9th child, daughter Zara, was born in 1987 when Steel was 40 years old.
“I’m grateful for my writing career, but what means the most to me are my children,” Steel said.
Steel’s longtime residence was in San Francisco (USA), but now she spends most of her time at her second home in Paris (France). Her 55-room San Francisco mansion, built in 1913, was once the residence of street magnate Adolph B. Spreckels.
Famous and rich, Steel is a shy person. She always wanted her children not to appear in the media. In recent years, she has become more open to interviews and public appearances.