He was one of four kids in his family. Being born and raised in New Orleans, he was physically abused as a child and lived in severe poverty.
After years of blaming his parents and others for his unsuccessful life, he watched an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1992 which gave angry and depressed people, as himself, strong advice to write your feelings in a letter to yourself.
His letters eventually became his plays. After saving $12,000 to move to Atlanta, he tried to stage his play/personal letters, under the title, "I Know I've Been Saved", which was about adult survivors of child abuse.
Successful as he is today, it's hard to believe that his plays were such failures that he was left penniless. For 6 year full years he struggled in Atlanta, living as a homeless man. Finally, in 1998 his play had a successful run in The House of Blue and in Fox Theatre.
His following play, A Woman Thou Art Loosed, a staging of Bishop T.D. Jakes, made over $5 Million in 5 months. Every since then, Tyler had a successful run in his career.
Bridging the gap the traditional urban theater circuit - pejoratively referred to as the "chitlin' circuit" - and a more traditional theater format, he has made many successful plays, including, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman", "I Can Do Bad All By Myself", "Madea's Family Reunion" and "Madea's Class Reunion", "Meet the Browns", "Madea Goes to Jail", and many many more.
Next to his stage work, Tyler has made two successul movie films, based off his plays. The movies include, "Dairy of a Mad Black Woman" and "Madea's Family Reunion". Not only did he direct and write the movies, but he also acts in them as well. As of March 2005, his work has gained him over $75 Million.
Tyler Perry came from less of a man than the dirt we walk on to a success story of a lifetime. Being inspired by none other than the lovable Oprah, he has the opportunity to inspire many just as much as he was.