Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is this week’s #RespectYourElders feature.
Over 91 million copies of Cleary’s books have been sold worldwide, in 20 languages. Cleary began publishing classics including Henry Huggins and Beezus and Ramona in the early 1950s, and these books remain popular to this day.
Cleary has said she did not have a particular fondness for reading until the third grade, when a friendly teacher encouraged her to read for fun more often. After completing her education at the University of California, Berkeley, she became a librarian.
As a librarian, Cleary saw that many of the children who visited had trouble finding books that they could relate to. Seeing this, Cleary decided to write her own books for children.
Cleary has received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association for her contributions to children’s literature and the National Medal of Arts. In 2016, in honor of Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday, publisher HarperCollins will issue new editions of three of Cleary’s books.
Photo is in the public domain