Terry McMillan Net Worth

Raquel Davies | November 15, 2013






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Terry McMillan has an estimated net worth of $40 million

Terry McMillan is an American author with an estimated net worth of $40 million. Terry Lynn McMillan was born October 18, 1951 in Port, Huron, Michigan.  She grew up in a middle-class neighborhood. Her father was a blue-collar worker, who suffered from tuberculosis. He was confined to a sanitarium during most of McMillan’s childhood. He also drank heavily, and would have domestic disputes with her mother. McMillan’s parents divorced when she was thirteen. Her mother worked as a domestic worker to support the family. When McMillan was sixteen she got a job at the library to help her mother make ends meet. While working at the library, she fell in love with literature and imagination. She became fond of the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. She was astonished to find out the African-Americans were publishing books after reading one of James Baldwin’s works.

At the age of seventeen, McMillan moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a secretary and studied African American literature at Los Angeles City College. She began writing poetry at this time. She then moved to northern California to study journalism at the University of California at Berkley. While attending UCLA, McMillan took a workshop with writer and critic Ishmael Reed. He took an interest in her writing and encouraged the young writer to continue. In 1976 he published her first short story entitled, “The End” in the Yardbird Reader.

After graduating from UCLA, McMillan moved to New York City where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild. She also began writing more extensively. In 1987 she published her first novel, Mama. Mama explored the trial and tribulations of a family living in a large city. In 1989 she published her second novel, Disappearing Acts. This novel chronicled the love escapades between a high school music teacher and a high school dropout. McMillan didn’t receive national acclaim until she released her third novel, Waiting to Exhale (1992). Waiting to Exhale was a story about four educated African-American women and their troubles finding true love. By the end of 1996, the novel sold over 700,000 copies in the hardback version, and over three million copies of the paperback version. Along with the critical success came Hollywood success. Due to the popularity of her novel, Waiting to Exhale was adapted to film in 1995, and became a box-office hit.

Terry McMillan’s fourth novel proved to be even more successful. She published How Stella Got Her Groove Back in 1996. The story was based on McMillan’s life. How Stella Got Her Groove Back was about a middle-aged woman who vacationed to Jamaica and ended up falling in love with a Jamaican man more than twenty years her junior. The film rights were sold immediately for a six million dollar advance. The novel had an original printing of 800,000 copies, which is unheard of for an African-American novelist.

Unfortunately for McMillan, the romance in her novel didn’t continue in real life. In 2004, her husband (the one How Stella Got Her Groove back is based on) admitted he was homosexual. She filed for divorce in 2005. The two are amicable, and share a son named Solomon. Terry McMillan sold her 7,000 sq./ft.  home in Danville, California for $1,858,500 in July 2012. She currently lives in a town right outside of San Francisco.

Terry McMillan has enough net worth to buy:

1. 909,090.9 Green Monster Paintings  by Sandra Boskamp ($44 each)

2. 1,352,722.4 Bottles of Waterbrook Irresistible Red Wine ($29.57 each)

3. 54,945.1 Maxwell Scott Luxury Large Leather Suitcases ($728 each)

Terry McMillan has enough net worth to give everyone in Poland $1. 

About the Author

Written by Raquel Davies

Raquel is a staff writer for PlentyofCheddar.com. She received her Bachelor's of Arts in Public Relations from Barry University. Raquel enjoys reading Sci-Fi/ Fantasy novels and watching films of that same genre. Raquel is also enjoys the theater arts and fine dining. She was raised in Maryland but currently resides in Miami. Check her out on !

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