ABOUT Omar Tyree
Omar Tyree is a New York Times best-selling author, journalist, lecturer, poet, screenwriter, songwriter, playwrite, host, blogger, publishing consultant and literacy advocate, who has won a 2001 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature in Fiction, a 2006 Phillis Wheatley Literary Award for Body of Work in Urban Fiction, a 2008 Citation from the City Council of Philadelphia for the African-American Children's Book Fair, and a 2010 HBCU Legends Award for his tiresome work in urban literacy.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from the prestigious Central High School in 1987, Tyree first attended the University of Pittsburgh as a Pharmacy major and an aspiring football player.
After spending his first two years at Pitt, he found his new passion and calling as a writer and storyteller, penning his first published series, “The Diary of a Freshman” along with two novels; Colored, On White Campus, (now titled College Boy in his Urban Griot series) and Flyy Girl, which became a contemporary urban classic that spawned an entire genre of so-called “urban/street lit” books.
Tyree transferred to the respected HBCU of Howard University to finish his education as a writer in the Fall of 1989. Leaving the English Department and the School of the Liberal Arts for the School of Communications, he graduated cum laude with a degree in Print Journalism in the Fall of 1991. While at Howard, he created, produced and published “Food For Thought” a student opinion column in The Hilltop newspaper, along with publishing several Washington, DC-based news articles for the Black Press.
Upon graduation from Howard, Tyree established his own publishing company, MARS Productions in early 1992 at the tender age of 23. He then self-published and marketed his first three novels, including Capital City, which chronicled Washington, DC’s violent drug culture, and went on to sell 25,000 copies of his first three titles in mostly African-American book stores with distribution sources from Newport News, Virginia, to Queens, New York.
By the Spring of 1995, Tyree’s publishing activity attracted the attention of several major publishing houses, including Simon & Schuster, where he signed his first two-book publishing deal for a $250,000 advance at age 26. As they say, the rest is his-story as Tyree went on to publish 14 straight novels with Simon & Schuster. He also published two short story books, including a children's book, 12 Brown Boys, that was picked up by Scholastic and a non-fiction business book, The Equation, on entrepreneurship with John Wiley & Sons.
The new novel, All Access, becomes Tyree's 28th published book with more than 2.5 million copies sold worldwide, including six original ebooks and co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. Tyree's books have created a worlwide brand name in the publishing industry that has generated more than $30 million.
He has also been published in five anthology books and several major newspapers, including; The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The News Journal and The Charlotte Post, along with several national magazines, including; Ebony, Essence, Upscale, Uptown, The Black Collegian and The Washington View. He has also been featured on national blog web sites; The Huffington Post and TheDailyVoice.com.
Along with dozens of literacy awards from various national organizations, Tyree has founded and formed his own nonprofit arm of the Urban Literacy Project (ULP), where he highlights “The 5 Key Components of Literacy” (Reading, Writing, Thinking, Visualization and Application). He published 12 Brown Boys for young urban readers in September of 2008 and continues his tireless community work in urban literacy.
Hailed as one of the most passionate and informed speakers on the subjects of art, business, community, culture, education and entertainment, Tyree has been a featured lecturer at more than 60 major American institutions, colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Michigan State, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Most recently, Omar Tyree's urban classic Flyy Girl trilogy novel series was optioned for a feature film production by Code Black and Lions Gate Films, starring Love & Basketball Sanaa Lathan. And on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, Tyree will launch his new publishing imprint OTI (Omar Tyree Incorporated) with the explosive release of his latest and most timely novel, All Access.