Writer, actor, producer, and director Tyler Perry was born Emmitt Perry Jr. on September 13, 1969, in New Orleans, La. He has forged his own way in the entertainment industry, building an empire that consists of successful films, plays, and even a best-selling book. One of four children, Perry had a difficult childhood, suffering years of abuse at the hands of his carpenter father. He once described his father as a man “whose answer to everything was to beat it out of you.”

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