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"Where the Wild Things Are" Author Maurice Sendak Dead at 83

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Maurice Sendak, author of the beloved children's book Where the Wild Things Are, has died at age 83.

Sendak died of complications from a stroke, according to Sendak's longtime editor, The New York Times reports.

The Brooklyn-born author had already written some seven children's books when, in 1963, Harper & Row published Where the Wild Things Are.  Sendak both wrote and illustrated the unconventional story about an unruly boy named Max dressed in a wolf suit who, sent to his room by his mother as punishment for misbehaving, travels to a land of monsters and proves himself the wildest thing of all. 

Initially met with very mixed reviews, the story quickly gained in popularity and in 1964 was awarded the Caldecott Medal, the highest U.S. honor for children's literature.

Sendak is credited with injecting children's literature with previously absent depth and psychological meaning, and his art was hailed for both its edginess and whimsy. 

Where the Wild Things Are in particular inspired not only other writers, but also musicians and artists.  An animated adaptation was created in 1973, and it was the subject of a hit film by director Spike Jonze in 2009.

Sendak wrote some 20 books in all and illustrated dozens.  His most recent, the picture book Bumble-Ardy, was published last September. 

In 1996, Congress and then-President Clinton presented Sendak with the National Medal of Arts. 

Sendak lived with his partner, Eugene Glenn, for 50 years until Glenn's death in 2007.

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