Piper Kerman Net Worth, Book, Husband

Piper Kerman interview
Piper Kerman interview

Piper Kerman is an American writer, an author who is known for being indicted for the felony offense of money-laundering. In 1988, she was subjected to 15 months of detention in the Federal Correction Facility. She self-surrendered Danbury as a non-violent drug offender, the crime she committed years earlier.  While in prison Piper was struck by the prevalence of race and class. After being discharged she spends most of her time advocating for prison reform. She wrote a famous book, “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women Prison”. Her book was adapted into famous comedy-drama series by Netflix “Orange is the new black’ (2013).

As of April 2020, Piper Kerman has a net worth of around $8 million. She is 59-year-old and has gathered most of her fortune being a professional writer, author, and memoirist. In 2010, she got associated with the famous show, Orange Is the New Black, which further elevated her net worth over the last 10 years.  

Her story is rather an interesting case of how she turned hardship to success.  Let’s explore more about this talented writer, personal life, book relationships, and husband.

Early life and Education

Piper Kerman was born on 28 September 1969 in Boston. She belongs to an educationally rich family background. Her family is full of educators, doctors, and lawyers. Her paternal grandfather is a Russian Jew.

She has attended Swampscott High School in Swampscott, Massachusetts in 1987. She graduated from Smith College in 1992. She is part of a social group, White Angelo-Saxon Protestants.  WASP is a group consists of affluent white protestants mostly of British origin. The elite group takes on social reforms, philanthropy and financial aid.

The group is often called an old group because they immigrated to America in the 17th and 18th centuries. She is teaching at Marion Correctional Institute and Ohio Reformatory for women.

Book: Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women Prison

In 2010, she turned her prison experience into best-selling memoir ‘Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a women prison’. The book narrates the survival story and problems faced by Kerman Piper and particularly all women Prisoners inside dark words behind bars.

Her book is mostly classified as fish out of water kind of story. When Kerman was in her early twenties, just out of university, she became involved in a relationship with a woman named Catherine Clearly Wolters mentioned as Nora Janson in the book. She was ten years older than Kerman. Catherine was a narcotics dealer associated with a Nigerian kingpin and asked Kerman to carry a bag full of drug money.

This incident happened years ago and Kerman entered prison after almost 10 years of committing that crime. In 1998, she was incarcerated to 15 months of detention in Federal Correctional Facility Danbury. Later, her sentence was reduced to 13 months. She described her jail experience was devastating yet she learned about the dark realities of prison. In her memoir, she shared the reaction of her friends about her trial for transporting drugs and money laundering. They laugh it off saying she would be the last person to go to jail. Her unexpected impeachment destroys her relationship with her boyfriend, family, and friends.

Because of her extravagant education and social class, she was put in solitary confinement from where she observed the inmates from a distance. Kerman advocates that majority of her fellow prisoners were wrongly accused and imprisoned because of biased drug laws.

She also made a plea about the number of women in prison. She suggested that the prison system is massively corrupt in the United States saying that race and class are the biggest determinants of who will end up in prison not necessarily who is inclined towards criminal activities. She further added that the American justice system is in a crucible of inequality and it should be fixed.

During her confinement, she was started her website by the name The Pipe Bomb to log her life in jail.

Netflix Series: Orange is the New Black

In 2010, she met Jenji Kohan during a tour in Los Angeles, who offered to turn her book into series. Things escalated quickly after that and her book was adapted and dramatized as Netflix’s original series ‘Orange Is the New Black’. Taylor Schilling played the role of Piper Kerman.

The series premiered on 11 July 2013. The first season was widely acclaimed and received twelve Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won three Emmy Awards. The second season also garnered positive responses and received four Emmy Award nominations. The series genre was changed from drama to comedy because of the new Emmy rule in 2015. It has the honor to become the first series ever to receive Emmy nominations for both drama and comedy and drama categories.

The third remained the public’s favorite with scoring 95% rating from Rotten tomatoes. The fourth season secured 94% ratings. Considering its growing popularity series was renewed for 5th, 6th, and 7th seasons in February 2016.

The fifth season received a relatively low but favorable response with overall ratings of 71%. The sixth season received positive reviews from critics for performing better than last season. The series bid goodbye to fans after its seventh season released on July 26, 2019.

Orange Is the New Back is the most viewed original series on Netflix.

In 2013, series was listed among the Top 10 Television Programs of the Year by the American Film Institute. In 2019, The Guardian’s ranked it on #58th among 100 best TV Show made in the 21st Century.


Kerman came out as gay at the age of 18. She called herself bisexual and part of the LGBT community. Her sexual orientation was also shown in The Orange is the new black. Laura Prepon played the character of Alex, the ex-girlfriend of Kerman Piper.

Piper Kerman tied the knot with an American author and editor, Larry Smith on May 21, 2006. He is a publisher of online Smith Magazine. He is also famous for creating the best-seller book series Six-Word Memoirs, based on the American Haiku subgenre. Smith was born on September 17, 1968, in New Jersey. Smith co-founded the Smith Magazine with Tim Barkow on January 6, 2006.

In 2008, his book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure was ranked as Top 100 Editor’s Pick by Amazon. The couple is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with their son. Kerman is an instructor at Marion Correctional Institute and Ohio Reformatory for women.


In 2014, she received the Justice Trailblazer Award for Media, Crime, and Justice by Jay College’s Center.  In 2015, she was awarded Constitutional Commentary Award from The Constitution Project; the Equal Justice as Champion of Justice.

Board member

She is a board member of the Women’s Prison Association and providing services to several non-profit Organizations as a communication Strategist. Besides, she is a public speaker and often lectures students of criminology, investigation law, sex and ladies and human science.

Kerman is a living inspiration for us all, that’s it’s never too late to become what you want to be. 

Other related celebrities

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Not Quite What I Was Planning: And Other Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Ob by [Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser]Six-Word Memoirs
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's PrisonOrange Is the New Black: My Year in a women prison
Out of Orange: A MemoirOut of Orange: A memoir
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