They Cage the Animals at Night


Jennings Michael Burch (April 27, 1941 – January 15, 2013)[1] was an American writer and author of the 1984 best-selling autobiography They Cage the Animals At Night.[2][3][4]

Early life and education

Jennings Michael Burch was born in the South Bronx, New York and spent most of his childhood in foster homes. A single parent, Burch's mother placed her children in foster care in 1949, when Jennings was eight, but claimed that she would return. Between 1949 and 1954, Burch had stayed in 32 foster homes, moved with his family three times, and stayed with at least three sets of foster parents. He also lost his biological brother Jerome, whom he hardly knew.

He earned a B.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College in Manhattan, New York City, New York.[5]


He worked as a chauffeur, a short order cook, a magazine pressman and New York police officer.

Personal life

Burch was married three times. He had two biological daughters (first marriage), one adopted daughter, (second marriage) and a son (third marriage).

  1. ^ "Jennings Michael Burch dead at 71". Putnam County Courier. January 17, 2013. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Michael Jackson aimed to direct movie about foster children". Reuters. July 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ Burch, Jennings Michael, They Cage The Animals At Night New American Library. ISBN 978-0-451-15941-0
  4. ^ "Michael Jackson's Unrealized Dream: Career in the Film Industry | Rolling Stone". Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  5. ^ Burch, J.M. (1985). They Cage the Animals at Night. Penguin Group USA. ISBN 9780451159410. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 

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