Dav Pilkey (birth name – David Murray Pilkey Jr.) is an American children’s illustrator and author who penned the Captain Underpants series, that debuted in 1997.
Pilkey won a Caldecott Honor for his picture book – ”The Paperboy.”
He was born on March 4, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
His mother (Barbara) was the organist at a local church, while his father (David, Sr.) was a steel salesman.
Dav has one sibling, an older sister named Cindy.
Pilkey was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia.
During an interview, he said about his childhood:
“I don’t remember much about my early childhood, except that I was almost always happy.”
Pilkey later added:
”Life was pretty cool when I was little…and then school started.”
Dav attended Kent State University. He once said:
”I got inspired to create children’s books from a teacher I had at Kent State University.”
Pilkey worked at Pizza Hut for a while, where they left the “e” in Dave off his nametag. Dav chose to use that spelling as his pen name.
In 1987, he entered his first book, titled – ”World War Won,” in a national competition for student authors. He won in his age category. Part of the prize was having his book published.
The Adventures of Captain Underpants
On September 1, 1997, he published – ”The Adventures of Captain Underpants,” an American children’s novel.
The book became a hit with children across the US. In addition, it has been translated into over 25 languages.
”The Adventures of Captain Underpants” stars mischievous 4th graders Harold Hutchins and George Beard, who turn their principal into an underwear-sporting superhero.
Other books in the series include the following:
- August 25, 2015 – Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot;
- August 26, 2014 – Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000;
- January 15, 2013 – Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers;
- August 28, 2012 – Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers;
- August 15, 2006 – Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People;
- September 30, 2003 – Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers;
- August 1, 2003 – Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets;
- 2002 – The All New Extra Crunchy Captain Underpants Book O’ Fun 2;
- August 29, 2001 – Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman;
- 2001 – The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book o’ Fun;
- July 29, 2000 – Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants;
- September 1, 1999 – Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space;
- February 1999 – Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets.
The series has sold more than 80 million copies.
He took a break from writing for several years to care for his terminally ill father.
In March 2010, Dav signed a deal with Scholastic in order to come out with 4 books:
- Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers (January 2013);
- Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers (August 28, 2012);
- Super Diaper Baby 2: Invasion of the Potty Snatchers (June 28, 2011);
- The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future (August 10, 2010).
During an interview, he said about his books:
”Although my books have been deemed “anti-authoritarian” and “inappropriate” by some, I’ve heard from parents, teachers, and kids alike that they’ve helped turn non-readers into readers.”
In 2005, Dav Pilkey married Sayuri Pilkey, a professional musician and the owner of Pilkey’s favorite Japanese restaurant. They divorced in 2007.
In December 2014, Dav married Katherine.
The couple has no children of their own. During an interview, he confessed:
“I fell in love and got married when I was 40 and my wife is the same age as me, and we were just too late. We just missed the boat!”
Dav is 6′ 1″ (1.85 m) tall.
”Once I have the story in my head, I write it down. The illustrations usually come last.”
”I do a lot of my writing in Japan. There’s a cave near where we live. I kayak to the cave, and I do a lot of my writing and illustrations there.”
”Grown-ups do a lot of complaining!”
”Superheroes, especially for young kids, are pretty appealing. They can change the world. They can do anything.”
”My books are just pure escapism for kids.”
”I had a lot of reading problems growing up.”
He has won many awards including:
- the 2007 Disney Adventure Kids’ Choice Awards for his Captain Underpants series;
- the 1998 California Young Reader Medal for Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis;
- the 1997 Caldecott Honor Award for The Paperboy.
In elementary school in Elyria, Ohio, Pilkey was diagnosed as suffering from dyslexia and ADHD.
Dav Pilkey – Net Worth
Pilkey earns most of his wealth from publishing the book he writes. Dav is best known as the author of the Captain Underpants book series, which has sold 80 million copies worldwide. DreamWorks released the first Captain Underpants animated feature film in 2017.
In addition, Dav works as an illustrator. He illustrated the following books – Julius (1993), The Place Nobody Stopped (1991), and Don’t Pop Your Cork on Mondays (1988), Therefore, Dav Pilkey has an estimated net worth of $3.7 million.