Jewish Journal


May 8, 2012

‘Where the Wild Things Are’ author Maurice Sendak dies at 83


Cover, 'Where the Wild Things Are'

Cover, 'Where the Wild Things Are'

Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” has died.

Sendak, who wrote and illustrated more than 50 children’s books, died Tuesday at the age of 83. He reportedly had suffered a stroke on May 4.

[JewishJournal.com profiled Sendak in 2002, read it here.]

Sendak grew up in Brooklyn the son of immigrant Polish Jews and told the Associated Press that he spent his childhood thinking about the children dying in the Holocaust in Europe. “My burden is living for those who didn’t,” he told the AP.

Sendak, who did not attend college, became a window dresser for Manhattan toy store FAO Schwarz in 1948. A self-taught illustrator, he was commissioned to illustrate the book Wonderful Farm” by Marcel Ayme in 1951, and in 1957 began writing his own books.

In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Sendak the Caldecott Medal, for “Where the Wild Things Are. He received the international Hans Christian Andersen medal for illustration in 1970, and in 1983 he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association. President Bill Clinton awarded Sendak a National Medal of the Arts in 1996 for his body of work.

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