'Where the Wild Things Are' Author Maurice Sendak Dead at 83by: Posted:
The world of literature lost a legend today as Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, passed away at the age of 83.
Sendak had suffered a stroke this past Friday, and was in critical condition over the weekend. The author died of complications early Tuesday morning in a hospital in Danbury, CT, with his caretaker by his side.
Sendak was far more than a children's author, as his eye for esthetics not only led him to provide some of his own artwork for his books, but also had him designing costumes for ballets and undertaking other artistic projects. In fact, one of Sendak's early jobs was as a window dresser for the toy store FAO Schwartz in New York City.
Even in his writing and illustration, Sendak walked the line between children's author and adult author, with stories that had wide appeal and darker themes. The artwork for Where the Wild Things Are is a perfect example, as the monsters were thought to be too grotesque or scary for children when the book came out.
In fact, when Spike Jonze adapted the book for a movie version of "Where the Wild Things Are" a few years ago, Sendak himself consulted Jonze on keeping the darker themes of the book, namely the anger that comes with being a child, intact for the movie.
While he will be remembered mostly for his wonderful stories and artwork, Sendak was also a source of some great sound bites, an opinionated man who was not afraid to share what he thought. For further proof, just watch his interview with Stephen Colbert on "The Colbert Report" below: