NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary, whose characters Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins enthralled generations of youngsters, has died. She was 104.
She died in her home in Carmel, California according to her publisher HarperCollins.
The acclaimed author sold over 91 million copies of her books and received several awards, including being named a “living legend” by the Library of Congress in 2000. She also received a national medal of National Endowment for the Arts in 2003.
“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.”
SUZANNE MURPHY, PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER, HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Children worldwide came to love the adventures of Huggins and neighbors Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby and her younger sister, Ramona. They inhabit a down-home, wholesome setting on Klickitat Street — a real street in Portland, Oregon, the city where Cleary spent much of her youth.
Trained as a librarian, Cleary didn’t start writing books until her early 30s. Her first novel was 1950s “Henry Huggins,” based on the children she grew up with in Portland, Oregon. Cleary wrote more than 30 books, which sold millions of copies.