Steig, William, 1907-2003

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American cartoonist, author and illustrator of children's books; winner of the Caldecott Award (1970) for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.

From the description of Roland the minstrel pig : production material, 1967-1968. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62452334

From the description of The bad island : production material, 1969. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62444911

From the description of C D B! : production material, 1968-1969. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62495571

From the description of Poor Pearl : production material, [196-?] (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78624322

From the description of Papers, [ca. 1955]-1977 (1967-1977). (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62681449

From the description of The bad speller : production material, [ca. 1970]. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62681448

From the description of An eye for elephants : production material, [ca. 1969]. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62373865

From the description of Sylvester and the magic pebble : production material, 1968-1977. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62373866

William Steig was born on November 14, 1907, in New York City. He worked regularly as a cartoonist, primarily contributing to the New Yorker, as well as to various advertising agencies and greeting card companies. Steig did not write his first children's book until 1968, long after he had become famous as a cartoonist. His third book, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1969), is not only one of his best-loved but also one of his most celebrated and received seven honors, including a National Book Award finalist and the 1970 Caldecott Medal. He later received Caldecott Honors for The Amazing Bone (1976) and twice received Newbery Honors: first for Abel's Island (1976) and later for Doctor De Soto (1982). Steig wrote more than forty books and published hundreds of cartoons over his long career. Today, he is probably best remembered for one of his later books: Shrek! (1991) was adapted into an enormously successful film franchise. He continued writing for children well into his nineties, and died in Boston on October 3, 2003.

From the description of William Steig illustrations, circa 1969. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 779492234

William Steig was born on November 14, 1907, in New York City. He grew up in the Bronx and attended City College (now part of CUNY) and the National Academy of Design. The stock market crash put an end to his schooling, and his first cartoon was published in the New Yorker a few months later, in June 1930. He worked regularly as a cartoonist, primarily contributing to the New Yorker, as well as for various advertising agencies and greeting card companies.

Steig did not write his first children’s book until 1968, long after he had become famous as a cartoonist. His third book, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1969), is not only one of his best-loved but also one of his most celebrated. It tells the story of Sylvester, a young donkey who collects unusual pebbles, and one day finds a magical pebble that grants wishes. Sylvester is then frightened by a lion and unthinkingly wishes he were a rock so he could remain safe. Now trapped, Sylvester must wait until his family picnics nearby, finding the magic pebble and restoring Sylvester to donkey form. Sylvester received seven honors, including a National Book Award finalist and the 1970 Caldecott Medal. He later received Caldecott Honors for The Amazing Bone (1976) and twice received Newbery Honors: first for Abel’s Island (1976) and later for Doctor De Soto (1982).

Steig wrote more than forty books and published hundreds of cartoons over his long career. Today, he is probably best remembered for one of his later books: Shrek! (1991) was adapted into an enormously successful film franchise. He continued writing for children well into his nineties, and died in Boston on October 3, 2003.

Bibliography:

Angell, Roger. “William Steig.” The New Yorker, October 20, 2003.

Something About the Author, vol. 111.

“William Steig.” Contemporary Authors Online . Detroit: Gale, 2007.

From the guide to the William Steig illustrations, circa 1969, (Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection)

William Steig was born November 14, 1907, in New York City. He attended City College of New York (1923-25) and the National Academy of Design (1925-29), and began his career as a cartoonist for The New Yorker in 1930. His first children's books were published in 1968. His third children's book, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble won the 1970 Caldecott Medal, the first of many awards for his work in children's literature. Successful characterizations, expressive drawings, and dry wit characterize Steig's work. He is also the creator of the Poor Pitiful Pearl doll which appeared in the 1950s, and claimed credit for producing the first studio-card or contemporary greeting card line.

Biographical Sources: Something About the Author, vols. 18, 70, 111, 149 Children's Literature Review, vol. 15

From the guide to the William Steig Papers, c. 1955-1977, (University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections [clrc])

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. The bad speller : production material, [ca. 1970]. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. Poor Pearl : production material, [196-?] University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. records, 1899-2003, 1945-1989 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Agor, Yaʻaḳov. 880-01 Arbi ʻal ha-i. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn American war posters from the Second World War, circa 1940-1945 Bancroft Library
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Steig, William : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. William Steig illustrations, circa 1969. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Gardner, Herb, 1934-2003. [Ceramic plates], 195- Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Quirt, Walter, 1902-1968. Walter Quirt papers, 1928-1976. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. Sylvester and the magic pebble : production material, 1968-1977. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
creatorOf Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. records, 1899-2003 (bulk 1945-1989). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, 1932-2005 Houghton Library
referencedIn Cott, Jonathan. Papers, ca. 1977-1985. Indiana University
referencedIn Cuppy, Will. Papers, circa 1884-1949 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.). Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art
creatorOf STEIG, WILLIAM. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. An eye for elephants : production material, [ca. 1969]. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Richter, Mischa, 1910-. Oral history interview with Mischa Richter, 1994 Sept. 27-28. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. The bad island : production material, 1969. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
creatorOf Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951,. Letters to Alfred Kreymborg [manuscript], 1921-1956. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. Papers, [ca. 1955]-1977 (1967-1977). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Elliott, Ted. Shrek: typescript, n.d. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf William Steig illustrations, circa 1969 Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. Doctor De Soto [mixed materials]. Harford County Public Library
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. C D B! : production material, 1968-1969. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Geraghty, James M., 1905-1983. James M. Geraghty papers, 1940-1983. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Richter, Mischa, 1910-. Mischa Richter papers, 1915-1988. Archives of American Art
creatorOf William Steig Papers, c. 1955-1977 University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections
referencedIn Richter, Mischa, 1910-2001. Mischa Richter interview, 1994 Sept. 27-28. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.). Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Steig, William, 1907-2003. Roland the minstrel pig : production material, 1967-1968. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Ohio State University. Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. William Steig 1907-2003 biographical file. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn James M. Geraghty papers, 1940-1983 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Cott, Jonathan. person
associatedWith Cuppy, Will, 1884-1949 person
associatedWith Downtown Gallery corporateBody
associatedWith Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Elliott, Ted. person
associatedWith Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. corporateBody
associatedWith Free Library of Philadelphia. Central Children's Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Frueh, Alfred Joseph, 1880-1968 person
associatedWith Geraghty, James M., 1905-1983. person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Quirt, Walter, 1902-1968. person
associatedWith Richter, Mischa, 1910- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Brooklyn NY US
Boston MA US
Subject
Minstrels--Juvenile fiction
Fantasy
Children's authors--20th century
Illustration of books--20th century
Children's literature--20th century
Pigs--Fiction
Limericks, Juvenile
Orphans--Fiction
Orphans--Juvenile fiction
Limericks
Swine--Juvenile fiction
Wishes--Juvenile fiction
Word games--Juvenile literature
English language--Orthography and spelling--Humor
Wishes--Fiction
Games
Children's authors, American--20th century--Archives
Children's literature, American
Donkeys--Fiction
Children's literature--Manuscripts
Minstrels--Fiction
Children's literature
Illustrated children's books--20th century
English language--Spelling
Donkeys--Juvenile fiction
Word games
Occupation
Cartoonists
Authors
Artists
Illustrator
Activity

Person

Birth 1907-11-14

Death 2003-10-03

Americans

English

Information

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