Judy Blume was born to Esther and Ralph Sussman and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She has an older brother, David, and her family is Jewish. In 1956, Blume graduated from Battin High School, then moved on to attend Boston University. During her first semester, however, she contracted mononucleosis and took some time off from school, before finishing college at New York University and obtaining a bachelor's degree in teaching.
She married John Blume, a future lawyer, in the summer of her sophomore year of college. The Blumes had two children: Randy Lee, who became an airline pilot, and Lawrence Andrew, who became a filmmaker. However, in 1975 the couple separated, though Blume still kept her former husband's last name. Shortly after, she married a physicist named Thomas A. Kitchens, but they separated only two years later. Finally, in 1987 she married George Cooper, who had a daughter Amanda from a previous marriage. Blume and Cooper now live in Key West.
Since Blume had been an avid reader since childhood, her choice of a writing career seemed natural. She first started writing when her children were in preschool, and her first published book was titled The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo. In the decade that followed, she published 13 more books aimed at young adults. After creating these narratives, Blume began to tackle the adult genre and wrote numerous bestsellers including Wifey. Blume has won more than 90 literary awards, including three U.S. lifetime achievement awards.