Danielle Steele – Family, Family Tree

by Jessica Sara
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Danielle Steele, real name Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel, was born in 1947, and is one of the most successful American authors till date. Her 84 novels have sold 590 million copies till date, translated into 28 different languages, and printed in 47 countries worldwide.

Danielle Steel

One or more of her novels appear on the New York Times Bestseller list consecutively since 1981, which is a Guinness world record in itself. 21 books written by her have also provided inspiration for television adaptations. Two of them have even received nominations in the Golden Globe awards.

She started her writing career at the age of 19, and now she has been the author of a number of non-fiction books, children’s books and poetry, in addition to novels.

Danielle Steele

Steele frequently travels between San Francisco and Paris, and still uses a typewriter to write her manuscripts. She is counted among the best selling authors alive on this earth, and among the top 5 best selling authors of all time. Steele publishes several books every year, and works on at least 5 writing projects at a time.


She married Claude-Eric Lazard in 1965, and divorced him in 1974 after several years of separation. She had met Danny Zugelder while interviewing a prisoner, whom she married in the prison canteen in 1975. They got divorced in 1978, but their relationship inspired Steele to write ‘Now & Forever’ and ‘Passion’s Promise’. She married William George Toth on the very next day of her divorce with Zugelder, but they did not get along well, and divorced in 1981. She was 8.5 months pregnant at that time.

Danielle Steel Husban

She married John Traina in 1981 for the 4th time, with whom she has 5 children: Samantha, Victoria, Vanessa, Maxx and Zara. Traina even adopted her son Nicholas she had from Toth. Even this couple divorced in 1998, and she married Thomas Perkins for the 5th time. Unfortunately, they both could not spend a lifetime together, and both got divorced in 2002. Perkins himself is an American entrepreneur, and one of the co-founders of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm.

Despite varied pursuits and shattered relationships, she is shy, and rarely faces the media. She is dedicated to giving protection to her kids, and keeping them away from tabloids.


Nicholas John Steel Toth, popularly known as Nick Traina, was the biological son of Danielle Steele and William George Toth, but John Traina had adopted him after marrying Steele. Toth was a heroin addict and burglar himself, and his son Nicholas was also a drug addict and suffering from bipolar disorder.


While Steele tried everything to give proper medical assistance to her son, Traina died of morphine overdose at the age of 19. At such a small age, he had already become an established singer, and was the lead singer for Link 80 and punk.

Other activities

In 2003, Steele opened the Steele Gallery in San Francisco, an art gallery exhibiting sculptures and paintings from emerging artists. She has also been involved in a number of mental illness treatment activities.

Danielle Steel Pic

Net worth

Danielle Steele has a net worth of $375 million