Legendary author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died in Connecticut on Tuesday, May 8, following a stroke. He was 83.
Best known for writing and illustrating Where the Wild Things Are, for which he won the 1964 Caldecott Medal, Sendak garnered numerous honors over his lifetime. In 1970, he became the first and to date only American ever awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration. He won the 1982 National Book Award in the picture book category for Outside Over There, as well as the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association for an entire body of work, and a National Medal of Arts in 1996. In 2003 he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Swedish government’s international prize for children’s literature. “Maurice Sendak captured childhood in brilliant stories and drawings that will live forever,” said Richard Robinson, chairman, president and CEO, Scholastic Inc, in a statement.
Sendak also illustrated works for other authors, beginning in 1952 with A Hole to Dig by Ruth Krauss; he also did the art for children’s books by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Tony Kushner, as well as books authored by his brother, Jack Sendak, and his father, Philip.
Most recently, in September 2011, HarperCollins published Bumble-Ardy, the first work in 30 years for which Sendak had produced both text and pictures. His last book is scheduled to be published in Feburary 2013. Also written and illustrated by Sendak, My Brother’s Book was inspired by Jack.
See an appreciation of Sendak by Leonard S. Marcus here.