Children’s book author Beverly Cleary whose books and characters had entertained generations has passed away at her residence in Carmel, California. She was 104.
She had sold over 91 million copies of her books and received a lot of recognition in the field of children’s literature. She was the recipient of several awards including a national medal of National Endowment of the Arts in 2003. In the year 2000, The Library of Congress had named her a “living legend”.
“We are saddened by the passing of Beverly Cleary, one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time. Looking back, she’d often say, ‘I’ve had a lucky life,’ and generations of children count themselves lucky too—lucky to have the very real characters Beverly Cleary created, including Henry Huggins, Ramona and Beezus Quimby, and Ralph S. Mouse, as true friends who helped shape their growing-up years. We at HarperCollins also feel extremely lucky to have worked with Beverly Cleary and to have enjoyed her sparkling wit. Her timeless books are an affirmation of her everlasting connection to the pleasures, challenges, and triumphs that are part of every childhood.”
In the early days of her career, Cleary used to work as a librarian. She started writing in her early 30s. She has more than 30 books to her credit and all of them have sold millions of copies.
Two of her famous characters Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins had enthralled generations of youngsters for many years. Among the “Henry” titles were “Henry and Ribsy,” “Henry and the Paper Route” and “Henry and Beezus.”
The news of her death was made public by her publisher, HarperCollins. No cause of death was mentioned.
Cleary was born Beverly Bunn on April 12, 1916, in McMinnville, Oregon. She lived on a farm in Yamhill. When she was school-age, her family moved to Portland. By the time she reached sixth grade, she had decided to write children’s stories.
She graduated from junior college in Ontario, California and the University of California at Berkeley. There she met her husband, Clarence. Soon they got married and had two twins, a boy and a girl. They inspired her to write the book “Mitch and Amy”.
All her books have been translated into different languages. They also inspired several TV shows and movies.