Sterne, Emma Gelders, 1894-1971

Alternative names
Birth 1894-05-13
Death 1971-08-29

Biographical notes:

American Emma Gelders Sterne (1894-1971) was an editor and writer of books for children and young people, as well as a suffragist and a social reformer. She published more than 25 books from 1928 to 1971; edited the American Heritage series published by Aladdin; and co-authored with her daughter Barbara Lindsay the Kathy Martin story series for Golden Press under the pseudonym Josephine James.

From the description of Emma Gelders Sterne papers, 1928-1971. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 72682738

Emma Gelders Sterne (May 13, 1894-August 29, 1971), born in Birmingham, Alabama, was primarily a writer of juvenile literature, though she was involved in a number if different activities. For example, at an early age Sterne became involved in the American Suffrage Movement, and in cooperation with a newly established juvenile court, she started a school for delinquent children in 1917.

Sterne began her writing career by serving on the editorial staff literacy magazines in high school and while attending Smith College. She attended Columbia University Graduate School taking courses in English and philosophy. She sold her first story in 1923 while living in Pelham, New York. She continued to write children's books, gardened extensively, and pursued her interest in civil reform. After serving as editor of the Aladdin Books of American heritage Series, Sterne moved to California where she continued to write, often in collaboration with her daughter, Barbara Lindsay. The Kathy Martin series was written under the pseudonym "Josephine James."

From the guide to the Emma Gelders Sterne papers, 1928-1971, (Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries)


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  • Women authors, American--20th century
  • Young adult literature, American--Authorship
  • Civil rights workers
  • Suffragists
  • Children and youth
  • Publishers and publishing--Correspondence
  • Literature
  • Women
  • Civil rights workers--United States
  • Children's literature, American--Authorship
  • Publishers and Publishing
  • Civil rights
  • Suffragists--United States


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  • United States (as recorded)