Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are author, dies

By Jennifer Lipman, May 8, 2012

The children's author Maurice Sendak has died at the age of 83.

Mr Sendak, best known for his children's book "Where The Wild Things Are," was also a costume-maker for ballet and opera.

The grandson of a rabbi, and the son of Polish Jewish immigrants to New York, several members of his family perished in the Holocaust. He later said that his experience of tragedy and horror at a young age was a key influence on his work. "My childhood was about thinking about the kids over there," he said. "My burden is living for those who didn't".

After an early career illustrating children's books, Mr Sendak turned his attention to creating them himself.

Published in 1964 and turned into a film three years ago, "Where The Wild Things Are" told the story of the imaginative boy Max and his feverish dreams of animals and monsters.

It sold more than 19 million copies around the world and earned Mr Sendak a National Medal of the Arts in 1996 from President Bill Clinton.

At the age of 75 he published what he described as his favourite work, "Brundibar," about poor children helping their mother to survive.

Mr Sendak, who lived in Connecticut before his death, suffered a stroke on Friday evening and died early on Tuesday morning.

Last updated: 3:12pm, May 8 2012