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Maurice Sendak

1928 - 2012

Maurice Sendak is an award-winning author and illustrator best known for his children's books.



Sendak was born June 10th, 1928 to Polish Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn New York. Many of his extended family members were killed during the Holocaust and his childhood was deeply affected by this.

After watching Fantasia at the age of 12 Sendak decided to become an illustrator, and the movie sparked a love for Mickey Mouse and a lifetime of collecting Disneyana, or Disney paraphernalia. His first illustrations were published in a textbook Atomics for the Millions in 1947, and he spent much of the 1950s illustrating children's books written by other authors before he began penning his own. In 1963 his book Where the Wild Things Are brought him international acclaim, and it remains a top picture book today. It won the Caldecott Award in 1964. The next book he wrote and illustrated, The Night Kitchen, was heavily censored because of its depiction of nudity. Sendak lived with his partner, the psychoanalyst Eugene Glynn, for 50 years, but never came out to his family. He died May 8, 2012, at the age of 83