Richard Scarry

From Academic Kids

Richard McClure Scarry (June 5, 1919April 30 1994) was a children's author and illustrator who published over 300 books with total sales of 300 million worldwide, more than any other author.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, where his parents ran a shop. The Scarry family enjoyed a comfortable life even during the time of the Great Depression. Following high school graduation, Scarry enrolled in a business college but soon dropped out, finding it not to his liking. He then matriculated at the art school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where he remained until being drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II.

Following the war, Scarry worked for the art departments of various magazines before making a career breakthrough in 1949 with Little Golden Books.

His characters are almost always animals portrayed in human activities, and wearing human clothes. His most famous series of books was about Busytown. Using animals in place of humans allowed Scarry to avoid giving the characters specific racial or ethnic traits, which may have helped broaden their appeal. His books have been popular with children throughout the world.

In 1955, he designed the character Smokey Bear for Little Golden Books.

His titles include:

In 1972, Scarry bought a chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. Here he founded his studio where he spent most of the day (from about 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) writing and illustrating his books. His studio contained a single desk, lamp and chair. His wife, Patricia, was not to bother him except for his hour break for lunch.

His son, Richard McClure (known as Huck Scarry), continues his work today. Huck lives in Vienna, Austria. Socialite Olympia Scarry is his grandaughter.

Biography

  • "Scarry, Richard (McClure) 1919–1994." Something About the Author. 75:163-170. 1994.

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