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Norman Bridwell
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    (February 15, 1928-December 12, 2014)
    Born in Kokomo, Indiana
    Children's author and illustrator
    Best known for 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' (1963) and its numerous sequels
    Also wrote 'The Witch Next Door' and 'A Tiny Family'
    He originally planned to be an illustrator for children's books, but he was repeatedly rejected. Eventually, a publisher told him that his drawings were too plain to interest an author, but if he wrote a children's book himself, he might be able to convince a publisher to let him illustrate it as well.
    He originally planned to call Clifford 'Tiny,' but his wife noted 'That was too obvious.'
    When his wife encouraged him to write a 'Clifford' sequel, he replied, 'Oh, no, this is just a fluke.'
    He admitted it was tough to keep the stories fresh as the 'Clifford' series went on: 'Every time I think of an idea, I go, 'Wait, that's kind of like the idea that I did a couple of times before.''
    He was married to his wife Norma for 56 years.
    Over 120 million 'Clifford' books have been sold worldwide.
    He said, 'I really don't know why Clifford's appealing to children, but I'm glad he is. I just write what amuses me and hope they like it.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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