(CNN)Children’s book author Beverly Cleary died on Thursday in Carmel, California, at 104 years old, her publishing company, Harper Collins Publishers, announced on Friday.
Cleary published her first book, “Henry Huggins,” in 1950, and more than 40 other books in years following, according to Harper Collins. Cleary’s books have sold more than 85 million copies and were translated into 29 different languages.Her protagonists were pests, goody-goodies, bullies and daydreamers, sometimes all at once. She mined memories of her youth and the struggles of kids she knew to capture children’s views of the adult world, where fathers sometimes lost their jobs and mothers sometimes parented alone.Happy 100th birthday, Beverly Cleary!“We are saddened by the passing of Beverly Cleary, one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time,” said HarperCollins Children’s Books President Suzanne Murphy in the company’s news release about Cleary’s death.”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,” Murphy said.Read MoreCleary was born Beverly Bunn in McMinnville, Oregon, on April 12, 1916, and spent her early years on a farm in the nearby town of Yamhill. When the Bunn family moved to Portland, Oregon, a school librarian encouraged young Beverly to write children’s books. The advice stuck with her through her studies at what’s now Chaffey College in California, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied librarianship. At Berkeley, she met her husband, Clarence Cleary, and the two were married in 1940.’You can curl up with a book’After college, she worked as a children’s librarian until she began to write. According to Harper Collins, Cleary’s dream of writing for children was rekindled when “a little boy faced me rather ferociously across the circulation desk and said: ‘Where are the books about kids like us?'”Her books featuring Henry Huggins, his dog, Ribsy, and the children on Klickitat Street that included Beezus and her younger sister, Ramona found a large audience with young readers. Photos: People we've lost in 2021 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Children’s book author Beverly Cleary died Thursday, March 25, at the age of 104, her publishing company announced. Cleary’s books have sold more than 85 million copies and were translated into 29 different languages.Hide Caption 1 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Jessica Walter, an award-winning actress beloved for her role in the television series “Arrested Development,” died Wednesday, March 24, her daughter confirmed in a statement to CNN. She was 80.Hide Caption 2 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021George Segal, a prolific actor with a career that spanned more than six decades, died at age 87, his wife said on Tuesday, March 23. Segal received an Oscar nomination in 1966 for his role in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”Hide Caption 3 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, who played for the Lakers for 14 seasons and was an All-Star 11 times, died Monday, March 22, at the age of 86. Hide Caption 4 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Elsa Peretti, the famed jewelry designer for Tiffany & Co., died on March 18, according to her foundation. She was 80. “A masterful artisan, Elsa was responsible for a revolution in the world of jewelry design,” said a statement from Tiffany. “Her collections of organic, sensual forms have inspired generations.”Hide Caption 5 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Yaphet Kotto, an actor known for bringing gravitas to his roles across television and film, died March 14, according to his agent. He was 81. Kotto’s notable film work includes roles in “Alien,” “The Running Man,” “Midnight Run” and “Live and Let Die,” in which he played iconic Bond villain Mr. Big. In television, his longest-running role was as Lt. Al Giardello on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.”Hide Caption 6 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Former boxing champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler died March 13 at the age of 66, according to his wife. Hagler dominated the middleweight division for nearly a decade.Hide Caption 7 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Lou Ottens, the Dutch inventor of the cassette tape, died at the age of 94, his family confirmed to CNN on March 11.Hide Caption 8 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Jahmil French, an actor known for his role as Dave Turner on the Canadian series “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” died on March 1, according to his manager, Gabrielle Kachman. He was 29. No details on the cause of death were made available.Hide Caption 9 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Vernon Jordan, a civil rights leader and close adviser to former President Bill Clinton, died on March 1, multiple sources close to the family told CNN. He was 85.Hide Caption 10 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Broadcasting pioneer and former NFL Pro Bowl cornerback Irv Cross died on February 28, the Philadelphia Eagles announced on the team’s website. He was 81. Cross was the first African American sports analyst on national television when he worked for CBS Sports as an NFL analyst and commentator from 1971 to 1994.Hide Caption 11 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the Beat poet, publisher and founder of San Francisco’s beloved City Lights bookstore, died February 22 at the age of 101. Ferlinghetti was one of the last surviving members of the Beat Generation, and he played a key role in expanding the literary movement’s focus to the West Coast.Hide Caption 12 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Rush Limbaugh, the conservative media icon who for decades used his perch as the king of talk radio to shape the politics of both the Republican Party and nation, died February 17 after a battle with cancer. He was 70.Hide Caption 13 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Johnny Pacheco, considered the “godfather of salsa” for popularizing the Latin musical genre, died at the age of 85 according to his wife and and former record label on February 15.Hide Caption 14 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Renowned jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea died from “a rare form of cancer,” a statement on the musician’s website said on February 11. He was 79. Over a career that spanned more than 50 years, Corea worked with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann and Miles Davis.Hide Caption 15 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Larry Flynt, the Hustler magazine founder and outspoken First Amendment activist who built an adult entertainment empire, died on February 10, his nephew, Jimmy Flynt Jr., told CNN. He was 78.Hide Caption 16 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Mary Wilson, a founding member of “The Supremes,” died on February 8 at the age of 76, according to a statement from her longtime friend and publicist, Jay Schwartz.Hide Caption 17 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021George P. Shultz, who played a central role in helping to bring the Cold War to an end as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, died February 6 at the age of 100, according to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University where he worked for over 30 years.Hide Caption 18 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Susan Bayh, the former first lady of Indiana, died February 5 from complications due to glioblastoma, her family announced. She was 61. Hide Caption 19 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Christopher Plummer, the elegantly voiced, Oscar-winning actor perhaps most fondly remembered for “The Sound of Music,” died February 5 at the age of 91.Hide Caption 20 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Dianne Durham, who as a teen became the first Black gymnast to win a USA Gymnastics national championship, died on February 4. She was 52.Hide Caption 21 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Dustin Diamond, who played the role of Screech on the popular 1990s high school comedy “Saved by the Bell,” died February 1 after a recent cancer diagnosis, according to Diamond’s manager, Roger Paul. He was 44.Hide Caption 22 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Cicely Tyson, an award-winning icon of the stage and screen who broke barriers for Black actresses, died on January 28, her longtime manager Larry Thompson confirmed to CNN. She was 96.Hide Caption 23 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Cloris Leachman, the acclaimed actress whose one-of-a-kind comedic flair made her a legendary figure in film and television for seven decades, died on January 27. She was 94.Hide Caption 24 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Corky Lee, an award-winning photographer who captured the everyday lives and political activism of the Asian American community, died January 27 after a battle with Covid-19. He was 73.Hide Caption 25 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Sekou Smith, an NBA reporter and analyst for more than two decades, died from Covid-19 on January 26. He was 48. Smith covered the NBA for more than two decades, including 11 years with Turner Sports, which, like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.Hide Caption 26 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Larry King, the longtime CNN host who became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers, died January 23 at the age of 87.Hide Caption 27 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Hal Holbrook, a legendary Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor, died January 23 at the age of 95. Holbrook portrayed iconic author Mark Twain in one-man shows for more than six decades.Hide Caption 28 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Hank Aaron, the Baseball Hall of Famer who broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record and lived a life as an ambassador to the game, died January 22 at the age of 86.Hide Caption 29 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Hall of Fame baseball player Don Sutton died January 18 at the age of 75, according to a tweet from his son. Sutton, a right-handed pitcher, spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers.Hide Caption 30 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Joanne Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers, star of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” died at age 92, Fred Rogers Productions announced on January 14.Hide Caption 31 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Siegfried Fischbacher, an illusionist known for working with exotic cats as one half of Siegfried & Roy, died from pancreatic cancer on January 13. He was 81.Hide Caption 32 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021John Reilly, a longtime soap-opera actor known for his time on “General Hospital,” died on January 9, his daughter confirmed to CNN. He was 86.Hide Caption 33 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Tommy Lasorda, who spent seven decades in the Dodgers organization — first as a player in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles as a two-time World Series-winning manager — died January 8 at the age of 93.Hide Caption 34 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021British filmmaker and documentarian Michael Apted died January 7 at the age of 79. Apted directed the 1980 movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in the musical and comedy category. Other notable works he directed include “Agatha,” “Gorky Park,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Nell,” and “Enough.”Hide Caption 35 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Marion Ramsey, the actress best known for her role as Officer Laverne Hooks in the film franchise “Police Academy,” died January 7 at the age of 73.Hide Caption 36 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Chef and restaurateur Albert Roux died January 4 at the age of 85. Roux founded Britain’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Gavroche, and revolutionized London’s restaurant scene.Hide Caption 37 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Gerry Marsden, lead singer of the 1960s British rock band Gerry and the Pacemakers, died of a heart infection at the age of 78, his friend and radio broadcaster Pete Price announced on January 3. Marsden was known for his cover of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical “Carousel.” It became the anthem for his hometown football team, Liverpool FC.Hide Caption 38 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Former NBA player and coach Paul Westphal died January 2 after a battle with brain cancer, according to the University of Southern California. He was 70. In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called Westphal “one of the great all around players of his era.” He won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 1974.Hide Caption 39 of 40 Photos: People we've lost in 2021Hall of Fame football player Floyd Little died January 1 at the age of 78. Little rushed for more than 6,000 yards and scored 43 touchdowns for the Denver Broncos.Hide Caption 40 of 40She was awarded the National Book Award for children’s fiction in 1981 for “Ramona and Her Mother,” and in 1975, she won the American Library Association’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for “a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.””Dear Mr. Henshaw” won the 1984 John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The book is about a lonely boy who strikes up a correspondence with a children’s book author.In 2000, she was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and in 2003, she received the National Medal of Art from the National Endowment of the Arts.”We at HarperCollins also feel extremely lucky to have worked with Beverly Cleary and to have enjoyed her sparkling wit,” Murphy said. “Her timeless books are an affirmation of her everlasting connection to the pleasures, challenges, and triumphs that are part of every childhood,”Her last book,” Ramona’s World,” was published in 1999, decades after the perpetual bratty little sister first debuted in “Henry Huggins.”Her husband died in 2004. She is survived by their two children, Malcolm and Marianne, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.Into her 90s, Cleary said she expected children would still read her books for decades to come.”You can curl up with a book, and I don’t think anything takes the place of reading,” she told National Public Radio in 2006.
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