William Steig

Active - 1984 - 2011  |   Born - Nov 14, 1907   |   Died - Oct 3, 2003   |   Genres - Children's/Family, Fantasy, Comedy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Though he is likely best known as the author of the bestselling children's book Shrek! (translated into a Oscar-nominated animated theatrical feature in 2001), author/illustrator William Steig penned over 30 beloved children's novels after getting a late start at the age of 60. A Brooklyn, NY, native who claimed that his aversion to the elderly proved essential in maintaining a youthful outlook, Steig began his career as a cartoonist by writing for his high school newspaper. Later furthering his education at the National Academy of Design, it wasn't long before Steig's fascination with psychoanalysis led to his penning the 1942 book The Lonely Ones, widely celebrated for it's innovative interpretation of human neuroses. Hired by the New Yorker after selling one of his cartoons to editor Harold Ross in 1930, Steig's work in the following seven decades helped to define the magazine by contributing over 1,600 drawings and 117 cover illustrations. It wasn't until the age of 60 that Steig discovered his talent for writing children's books, with his 1970 effort Sylvester and the Magic Pebble earning the author a Caldecott Medal. On October 3, 2003, William Steig died of natural causes in his Boston home. He was 95.

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