Beloved children’s author/illustrator Tomie dePaola died Monday at the age of 85. The cause was complications from surgery stemming from a bad fall he took last week. In addition to his books, Tomie was an accomplished artist.

  1. Tomie knew at the age of 4 he wanted to be an artist. Tomie held several degrees: a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn; an MFA from California College of Arts; and the doctoral equivalency in fine arts from Lone Mountain College.
  2. Tomie lived for a short time in a priory.
  3. One of his most famous children’s book is Strega Nona (1975), which garnered Tomie a Caldecott Medal in 1976.
  4. He was the author and/or illustrator of over 270 books, selling over 15 million copies in over 20 languages.
  5. He purchased a portion of a property named Glengae in 1985. He renovated a 200-year-old barn to be his studio. His home was once described as “welcoming, vibrant and magical.”

He was born Thomas Anthony dePaola September 15, 1934. A relative suggested he spell his name “Tomie” to stand out from the crowd. He died on March 30, 2020.

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