Why Tyler Perry sold his $17.5 million Atlanta estate

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He's reportedly building on about 1,000 acres in Douglas County, a far cry from his humble start in Atlanta.

“I had just moved to Atlanta to try to launch this play, so I went to work,” he said during his Tuskegee University commencement address. “I managed to save $12,000 and I put the show up working in used car, as a bill collector (proceeds from a tax return). I thought 1,200 people would show up that weekend but only 30 showed up. My car payment, rent, everything was tied up in it so I ended up homeless with no money and nothing to my name.”

He wasn’t dissuaded.

“From 1992, to 93, to 94, I was doing one show a year,” he said. “I kept on doing the play. Every year it would fail, until 1998, the seventh year of me trying. I was about to give up and walk away.”

His mother suggested he try to get a job at the phone company, with steady pay and good benefits. Then he started hearing from audience members who shared how his words moved them.

“My life shifted after that,” he said. “My intention became, how do I serve other people? How do I lift other people?

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com.
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