George RR Martin is best known as the writer and creator of the "Song of Ice and Fire" novel series that inspired HBO to create the hit series "Game of Thrones". The work is a long held dream of Martin's and he continues to write novels for the series. Always interested in science fiction and fantasy stories, Martin began writing at a young age. He fulfilled his dream of writing a fantasy epic and resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Martin has a net worth of $65 million, mostly from the book series and the sale to HBO. He has also worked in Hollywood as a script writer. It's estimated that Martin earns $15 million a year. Here's how George R.R. Martin achieved a net worth of $65 million.
He was an imaginative child
George Raymond Martin was born in New Jersey on September 20, 1948 and grew up in New York City. He would later adopt his confirmation name, Richard, making him George R.R. Martin. His dad, Raymond was a longshoreman and his mom Margaret stayed home to raise the family which included George's two younger sisters, Darlene and Janet. The family lived on Broadway for a time before moving to the projects during the 1950's. As a child, George had a big imagination. He dreamed of traveling and he read a lot. He was especially fond of comic books and considers Stan Lee his hero. George wrote monster stories and sold them to the neighborhood kids for pennies. George graduated from Marist High School and went on to study journalism at Chicago's Northwestern University. He received his BS and MS in Journalism form NU.
His career as a professor
After graduating from Northwestern University in 1971, George Martin tried to make a living writing science fiction and playing in chess tournaments. He happened to meet George Guthridge, an English professor from Iowa at a science fiction convention in Milwaukee. Martin convinced Guthridge to look at some of his writings. Guthridge was impressed. Martine would convince Guthridge to write science fiction and fantasy which was a genre Guthridge wasn't crazy about, but he went on to win several awards. In the meantime, Guthridge helped Martin get a teaching job at Clarke College in Iowa. Martin was a professor of English and Journalism and in 1978 became Writer in Residence at the college. In 1980 Martin decided to quit teaching and devote himself once again to full time writing. Tired of the cold Midwestern winters, Martin moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Before his teaching career, George Martin wrote short stories. Although they weren't big money makers, they did get some notice and earned him a couple of awards. Martin's first successful story was "Dying of the Light" which was published in 1977. At the time the movie "Star Wars" helped make science fiction and fantasy a popular genre. Martin published several short stories and novels during the 1980's. He captured the notice of producer Philip DeGuere Jr. who was producing a revival of "The Twilight Zone" and hired Martin as a writer for the series. He later worked as a writer for CBS's "Max Headroom" and ABC's "Beauty and the Beast". He also worked as a book series editor.
By 1991, George Martin became frustrated writing for television series, particularly pilots that didn't get picked up. He returned to full time writing. Inspired by J R.R. Tolkien, Martin wanted to write a fantasy epic. He came up with "A Song of Ice and Fire". The first volume, "A Game of Thrones" was published in 1996. The fourth novel of the series, 2005's "A Feast for Crows" was a New York Times Number 1 Bestseller. The fifth novel, "A Dance with Dragon's" was published in 2011 and won the Locus Poll Award for Best Fantasy Novel as well as being an international best seller. Two more novels would round out the series along with prequel of the history of House Targaryen, "Fire & Blood". The book series has generated much of Martin's income. The series has sold more than 25 million copies.
Game of Thrones
In 2007, HBO purchased the rights of George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series and began producing the series "Game of Thrones". Martin was very involved in the series' production as he continued to write the series of novels. "Game of Thrones" tells the story of seven kingdoms in the fictional world of Westeros. The seven kingdoms battle for the right to the kingdom's throne. The cast includes Peter Dinklage, Lena Headly, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams. "Game of Thrones" was an instant hit and was nominated for 13 Emmy Awards in its first season. It won the Emmy for best opening title credits and for Best Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage). The second season won 6 out of 12 Emmy Awards. The series has continued to be popular. Season 8 will be the last and will air this spring.
George RR Martin began the Prizeo Campaign in 2014. The campaign raises funds for the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot of Santa Fe, New Mexico. To gain campaign contributions, Martin offered the highest donor a helicopter ride and dinner with him as they visited the Wolf Sanctuary. During another campaign, Martin offered the highest donor a character named after him or her in his "Song of Ice and Fire" book series that would be killed off. The campaign has raised over a half million dollars.
Another cause dear to George RR Martin's heart is freedom of speech. During the Vietnam War, Martin opposed it and was a "conscientious objector". He served two years of alternative service rather than fight in the war. In 2013, Martin bought the Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe. The first film shown was "The Interview" which is pro-first amendment and anti-Vietnam War.
What he's up to now
George RR Martin is wrapping up production on the final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones". He is writing two more novels for his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. He attends science fiction conventions throughout the country. He regularly posts on his blog, "Not a Blog", and recently began a Livejournal on his website. Martin lives with his second wife Parris McBride in a fairly modest house in Santa Fe.
Written by Garrett Parker
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