Biography of Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls was born on April 21, 1960 to Rex and Rose Mary Walls in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the Walls’ third child; though at her birth Rex and Rosemary had already lost one daughter at only 9-months of age. As a child Jeannette was tall and skinny with red hair like her siblings Brian and Lori. Her first memory is being burned by a fire while cooking hot dogs at age three. Jeannette’s memoir details the story of her life, which is characterized by constant movement and unconventional parents.

After her junior year of high school Jeannette moved away from home to live in New York City with her older sister, Lori. There she began her career as a journalist, working for The Phoenix. She graduated from Barnard College in 1984 with honors. Walls is known for her work on the gossip column “Scoop”. She is also the author of three books: Dish: The Inside Story on the World of Gossip (2000), The Glass Castle (2005), and her first fiction work Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (2009), which details the life of her grandmother Lilly Smith.

In 1988 Walls was married to Eric Goldberg. The two later divorced and she was remarried to John Taylor, a fellow journalist, in 2002. Walls has contributed to New York magazine, Esquire,and USA Today. She has also been interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show and The Today Show. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband John Taylor and continues to contribute regularly to MSNBC.

Study Guides on Works by Jeannette Walls

"When God closes a door, he opens a window. But it's up to you to find it." So went the favorite saying of Lily Casey Smith, the indomitable frontier woman who is the protagonist of Half Broke Horses, a book penned by her granddaughter, Jeannette...