Norman Bridwell Biography & Facts
Norman Ray Bridwell (February 15, 1928 – December 12, 2014) was an American author and cartoonist best known for the Clifford the Big Red Dog book series.
Bridwell was born on February 15, 1928, in Kokomo, Indiana, to Leona and Vern Bridwell. He graduated from Kokomo High School in 1945, and went on to attend John Herron School of Art at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, and Cooper Union, in New York City. Clifford serves as the official mascot of Scholastic Corporation.
Bridwell put together a portfolio and attempted to get a job as a children's book illustrator but was rejected by approximately fifteen publishing houses. While at Harper & Row, an editor offhandedly suggested he turn one of his drawings into a story. The drawing was of a young girl and a horse-sized bloodhound, and the story became Clifford the Big Red Dog. That book spawned over 40 best-selling Clifford books, three animated television series, merchandise, a live musical and a live-action film. Clifford serves as the official mascot of Scholastic Corporation.
Bridwell's other successful books include The Witch Next Door, How to Care for Your Monster, and A Tiny Family. There are over 126 million copies of his books in print in 13 languages.
In 1958, Bridwell was married to his wife Norma Ellen Howard. They had a daughter Emily Elizabeth Merz and a son named Tim. At the time of his death, they had three grandchildren.The Bridwells resided in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, from 1969 until his death.
Bridwell died on December 12, 2014, at the age of 86. His funeral was held at the Federated Church on South Summer street in Edgartown. He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his son, Tim.
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