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Who is Danielle Steel?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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Danielle Steel is one of the world's most prolific bestselling authors. Her books are distributed and read in more than 25 languages in over 45 countries. Danielle Steel has written at least 70 bestselling romance novels.

Danielle Steel books are not romantic fluff. She draws on the problems and realities of modern family life and manages to both entertain readers and make them relate to the topics as either something they may have experienced themselves or something that seems true to modern times. For example, Danielle Steel novels are likely to contain storylines about cancer, mental illness and loss as well as more standard romance fare that concerns love, marriage and relationships.

Over twenty of her best sellers have been made into movies or miniseries for television. Jewels, is a Danielle Steel book that was made into a four hour miniseries in 1992. It received two Golden Globe nominations. In Danielle Steel's Jewels, an American woman in England, played by Annette O'Toole, marries the Duke of Winfield, played by Anthony Andrews.

In Fine Things, Danielle Steels writes about separation, choice, illness and child custody fights. Tracy Pollan and D.W. Moffat starred in the 1990 television movie with the same title. Danielle Steel's best seller Daddy, was made into a television movie in 1991 and starred Patrick Duffy and Lynda Carter. Daddy, is the story of a mother who abandons her infant and leaves her husband to raise the child. The father is an advertising professional and meets a new love interest, an actress, while caring for his baby on the set of a television commercial.

Besides writing romance best sellers, Danielle Steel also authored a book about the life story of her son, Nick Traina, in His Bright Light: The Life of Nick Traina. Nick had a successful punk rock band, but committed suicide at nineteen. He suffered from bipolar disorder and was a heroin addict. Danielle Steel started The Nick Traina Foundation in 1998 to help fund research and help families affected by bipolar disorder, or manic depression.

Danielle Steel is involved in other charities that help the homeless and children. She is mother to nine children and enjoys collecting art. Before becoming a novelist, Danielle Steel worked in advertising and public relations as well as teaching. Danielle Steel has said that she likes to work on as many as five books at once and that each of her books can take up to three years to finish.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By dega2010 — On Nov 20, 2010

@christym: Danielle’s Steel’s first novel, “Going Home”, was penned in just three months. Pocket Books published it in 1973 and it earned her $3,500.

Here’s a fact about Danielle Steel that I just recently learned: Her name went into the Guinness Book of World Records” in the year 1981 for having a book on New York Times’ best-seller list for 381 consecutive weeks. Later, she had a book on the chart for over 390 weeks.

By calabama71 — On Nov 20, 2010

@christym: Danielle Steel has been married five times. She was married to Claude-Eric Lazard who was a French banker, Danny Zugelder who was a convict, William George Toth who was a recovering heroin addict, John Traina who was a shipping executive, and Thomas Perkins, a venture capitalist.

While she was dating Danny Zugelder, he was arrested for rape. He went to prison in 1974. Danielle and Zugelder married the very next year while he was still in prison. They divorced in 1977. In 1978, Steel’s 3rd book,” Now and Forever”, was about a woman who supported her boyfriend who was accused of rape.

Danielle is the mother of 9 children.

By medicchristy — On Nov 20, 2010

@christym: Danielle Steel was born on August 14, 1947 in New York City. Her father was John Schulein Steel and owned a vitamin company called Vegex. Her mother, a socialite, was Norma Da Camara Stone Reis. Danielle’s parents divorced when she was seven years old and she lived with her father. However, her father was frequently away on business and she was raised by the household servants.

Danielle Steel attended a college-prep school, the Lycee Francais de New York, in Manhattan. She spent much of her time studying since she was often alone. Her excellent academics led her to graduating at the age of 15.

Her initial dream was a career in fashion but soon changed her mind. She enrolled at New York University and studied French literature.

By christym — On Nov 20, 2010

Author Danielle Steel is one of my favorites. Does anyone have any more information on her?

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