The wild things of the world let out a terrible roar on Tuesday, as a beloved children’s author passed away at the age of 83.
Maurice Sendak died on Tuesday morning at a Connecticut hospital due to complications caused by a recent stroke, his editor told the New York Times. He lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and was hospitalized in nearby Danbury. According to the Associated Press, Sendak suffered the stroke on Friday.
Sendak wrote and illustrated more than 50 children’s books in his lifetime–including Where the Wild Things Are, which was published in 1963 and became his most popular work.
The book earned Sendak the coveted Caldecott Medal in 1964. The tale tells of a disobedient boy named Max who gets sent to his room without supper because of his antics, and then imagines a world inhabited by wild creatures where he is their king. The story was adapted into a live-action film by Spike Jonze in 2009, of which, Sendak was heavily involved.
Most recently, Sendak appeared in a pair of hilarious interviews with Stephen Colbert, where he made rather querulous comments on everything from e-books to book signings to Newt Gingrich.
Sendak once said of life in his older years in a December 2011 interview with NPR, “I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”
We cry today because we miss you, Maurice Sendak.