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When Beverly Cleary Turned 100 — By Accident

The beloved 'Ramona' author talked about her start as a writer

By Amy Knapp

Editor’s note: We remember Beverly Cleary, who died at the age of 104, with this story from 2016. We are grateful for her delightful characters.

It's not every day someone turns 100. It's even more rare for a beloved childhood author to hit that giant milestone.

"I didn't do it on purpose," says Beverly Cleary, author of more than 40 children's books including Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ralph S. Mouse and Henry Huggins, in her interview on the Today show.

Cleary — who turns 100 April 12 — is cherished by children, adults and even other authors. In a video on Today, fellow children's author Judy Blume (Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret) spoke of her adoration and what Cleary has meant to her.

"Beverly, you were my inspiration when I started to write all those years ago. You remain my inspiration today," said Blume.

Since Cleary started publishing her work, she has sold over 75 million books in 25 languages and won dozens of awards. But what makes her the happiest? It's not these achievements. Watch the video below to find out.

And for more children's books by authors who have defined the boomer generation, check out this Next Avenue article.

Amy Knapp was formerly the associate digital editor for Next Avenue. She previously was an editor for InnoVision Health Media's consumer publicationNatural Solutions Magazine.   Read More
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