'Where The Wild Things Are' author dies at age 83

By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY

Famous and beloved children's author Maurice Sendak has died at age 83 in Danbury, Conn.

The New York Times reports the cause was complications from a recent stroke, said Michael di Capua, his longtime editor.

Sendak was known for more than a dozen picture books he wrote and illustrated himself, most famously Where the Wild Things Are, published by Harper & Row in 1963. The tale told the story of naughty boy Max, who is sent to his room without supper and dreams up a monster-filled adventure there.

And he sailed off through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are.

One of the funniest recent moments with Sendak came courtesy of Stephen Colbert who interviewed the outspoken author at his home on a variety of subjects.

Colbert, appearing on Live! with Kelly this morning recalled the interview and said Sendak was "a wonderful guy" and said he was "a tremendously honest guy. It was an honor for those of at the show to get to know him."

Maurice Bernard Sendak was born in Brooklyn on June 10, 1928. His father, Philip, was a dressmaker in the garment district of Manhattan. "All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy," he told the Times in a 2008 interview. "They never, never, never knew."

His love of drawing started early. A frail child, he spent hours in bed, drawing and looking out the window. While he was in high school he worked part time for All-American Comics, filling in backgrounds for book versions of the Mutt and Jeff comic strip. The first title he wrote and illustrated himself, Kenny's Window, published in 1956, about a lonely boy's inner life.

Sendak's companion of a half-century, Eugene Glynn, a psychiatrist who specialized in the treatment of young people, died in 2007, reports the Times. No immediate family members survive.


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