The Artist Birthday Series

Maurice Sendak

Today’s Artist Birthday: Maurice Sendak

Maurice Bernard Sendak ( June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012) was an American illustrator and writer of children’s books. He became widely known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963. The now-renowned children’s author studied at the Art Students League and illustrated more than 80 books by other writers before authoring one himself.

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Beloved children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He described his childhood as a “terrible situation” due to the death of members of his extended family during the Holocaust which exposed him at a young age to the concept of human cruelty, and mortality. The son of a dressmaker, he was a sickly child who started drawing to pass the time. He excelled at art, landing a part-time job at All-American Comics while in high school. He decided at twelve years of age to become an illustrator, after seeing the Walt Disney film, Fantasia.

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