Beverly Cleary, Legendary Children’s Book Author, Dead at 104

The world has lost a literary giant. Beverly Cleary, author of ‘Ramona and Beezus’, ‘Henry Huggins,’ and countless other classics, has died at 104.

One of the most prolific authors in history, cherished children’s book author Beverly Cleary, passed March 25, 2021. Harper Collins reports the 104-year-old literary giant died in her Carmel, California home Thursday.

Cleary called Carmel home for nearly 60 years, living out the second half of her remarkable life in the small beach town. Her first book, children’s classic ‘Henry Huggins,’ received publication in 1950. Within, Beverly Cleary set the clear standard for injecting reality into children’s fiction – a frontier at the time.

Throughout her incredible career, the author published over fourty books. Up until her death, she remained one of the world’s most beloved creators. She will remain so for generations on through the timeless quality of her work.

“When it comes to writing books kids love, nobody does it better,” author and reviewer Ilene Cooper said in ALA Booklist, cites Harper Collins in a press release on Beverly Cleary’s passing.

“We are saddened by the passing of Beverly Cleary, one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time,” HarperCollins Children’s Books’ President and Publisher, Suzanne Murphys, says in addition to their statement.

Remembering Beverly Cleary

“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,” Murphys adds.

Moreover, Murphys praise for Cleary echoes the sentiments of her fans, friends, and fellow authors across the globe. “HarperCollins also feel extremely lucky to have worked with Beverly Cleary and to have enjoyed her sparkling wit,” she continues. “Her timeless books are an affirmation of her everlasting connection to the pleasures, challenges, and triumphs that are part of every childhood.”

Beverly Cleary was born on April 12, 1916, in McMinville, Oregon, as Beverly Bunn. The prolific author would spend her early life on her family’s homestead in Yamhill, Oregon.

Her love of literature stemmed from her mother, who set up a small library in their hometown. Using a lodge above the city’s bank, her mother would teach Beverly all the classics she herself loved. The experience would forever mark her.

So, too, was moving to Portland. Within, her tenure at the city’s grammar school would show her first hand the struggles of young readers.

Beverly Cleary would pour her entire soul into a remarkable career’s work over ten decades. She will be sorely missed.