Author Beverly Cleary died March 25, 2021 in Carmel Valley, California at the age of 104. No further details of her death were given.
Clearly is best known for her children’s books that reflected her own life as a child growing up in Oregon.
A former librarian, Cleary was in her 30’s when she penned her first book “Henry Huggins”. Other Cleary characters include Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby, and Ramona. She began writing children’s books after repeatedly hearing children come into the library asking for books about children like themselves.
Over the course of her career, Clearly has earned a National Book Award, the John Newbery Medal, a Library of Congress Living Legend, Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and is a National Medal of Arts recipient.
Besides having her book translated into over a dozen languages, Cleary has seen her books inspire television programs in Japan Denmark, Sweden, Canada.
Noting that she didn’t like to type, Cleary once said in an interview that she would spend more time thinking about her typing than what she wanted to say; as a result, she chose to write her books out in long hand.
Beverly Atlee Bunn was an only child born on April 12, 1916 in McMinnville, Oregon, but lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was six years old. Her family then moved to Portland. While in first grade, young Beverly had the chicken pox, smallpox, and tonsillitis. All that missed time from school resulted in her having issue with reading.
By the time she was in sixth or seventh grade, Beverly had decided that she wanted to write children’s stories.
After graduating from junior college in Ontario, California; she attended the University of California at Berkeley. It was there that she met Clarence Cleary, the man that would become her husband. She later attended the University of Washington and began her career as a librarian in Yakima. During World War II, she served at post librarian at the Oakland Army Hospital.
Cleary is predeceased by her husband.
feature photo credit: By Unknown author – Photo of Beverly Cleary, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38507324