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Hugh Lofting
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Author
    (January 14, 1886-September 26, 1947)
    Born in Maidenhead, England, United Kingdom
    Created the character Dr. Dolittle
    Won the Newbery Medal for the book 'The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle' (1923)
    Wrote the poem 'Victory for the Slain' (1942)
    As a child, he kept a small menagerie of wild animals -- at least until his mother found them in her linen closet.
    He never considered himself a children's author, noting 'For years it was a constant source of shock to me to find my writings amongst 'juveniles.''
    Dr. Dolittle's short-tempered parrot Pollyanna spouts the epithets 'darkies' and 'niggers.'
    The first Dr. Dolittle book featured a subplot in which Prince Bumpo asks the doc to turn him white.
    As a civil engineer, he surveyed railroads in Canada, Cuba and Nigeria.
    He was badly wounded by grenade shrapnel in World War I.
    He created Dr. Dolittle in letters he wrote to his children in WWI, when the actual news was either too horrible or too dull to relate.
    The New York Times wrote, 'Perhaps most important, the Dolittle books are enthusiastic about the joy of using one's mind. What more can we ask of children's books?'

Credit: C. Fishel


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