Gerald Cleaver, 75 died Saturday March 29th., 2014. "Jerry" was born to Madeline and Bert Cleaver on March 30, 1938 in Louisville Kentucky, but lived in the Chicago area for more than seventy years. Jerry was a writer, teacher, and writing coach who created The Writers Loft, Chicago's most successful independent writer's workshop, generating more than forty novels and works of non-fiction by his students and many more as yet unpublished. He has given special seminars for Writers Digest and created the "Write Your Novel Now" Internet course, which continues under the auspices of his gifted students. Jerry was the author of the successful writing book, Immediate Fiction, published by St. Martin Press in 2002, still in print, and currently the best selling writing book in China. A pinnacle of Jerry's career was a two-week book tour in Beijing and Shanghai in 2012, during which he lectured at major universities and was treated with generous hospitality by the Renmin University Press. Jerry was a juvenile probation officer at the Cook County Juvenile Court for thirty years, working primarily with gang members and their families. He treated his clients with extraordinary respect and was dedicated to making the court experience clear and meaningful. He was a strong believer in the healing powers of psychotherapy and in the value of wilderness, volunteer and vocational programs which enabled young men and women, boys and girls, to develop realistic self esteem and the capacity to love and work. Jerry was a deeply kind and compassionate person, both in his personal and professional life. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 38 years, Leslie Cleaver, and by his beloved son, Matthew. He was very attached to his nieces and nephew and his close friends and family who participated in his life and cared for him during the difficult months of his illness. A celebration of his life will be held in his Lakeview home, to be announced at a later date. His family may be contacted at this email for details: [email protected]
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Published by Chicago Tribune on Apr. 13, 2014.