Maurice Sendak, author of the beloved children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” has died. He was 83.
Sendak’s longtime editor told the New York Times that Sendak died of complications from a stroke.
The Brooklyn-born author had already written seven children’s books when, in 1963, Harper & Row published ”Where the Wild Things Are.” Sendak wrote and illustrated the unconventional story about an unruly boy named Max dressed in a wolf suit who, sent to his room by his mother as punishment for misbehaving, travels to a land of monsters and proves himself the wildest thing of all.
Initially met with mixed reviews, the story quickly gained popularity and, in 1964, was awarded the Caldecott Medal, the country’s highest honor for children’s literature.
Sendak is credited with injecting children’s literature with depth and psychological meaning, and his art was hailed for both its edginess and whimsy. ”Where the Wild Things Are” in particular inspired not only other writers, but also musicians and artists. An animated adaptation was created in 1973, and it was the subject of a hit film by director Spike Jonze in 2009. President Obama and his family read from ”Where the Wild Things Are” at this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll.
Sendak wrote more than a dozen books in all and illustrated many more. His most recent, the picture book ”Bumble-Ardy,” was published in September. Congress and then-President Clinton presented Sendak with the National Medal of Arts in 1996.
Sendak lived with his partner, Eugene Glenn, for 50 years until Glenn’s death in 2007. Sendak most recently lived in Danbury, Conn.