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Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family that worked in the garment industry, Sendak became perhaps the most famous and successful author and illustrator of children’s books in the U.S. in the 20th century. A self-taught artist, he began by illustrating the books of other writers. His breakthrough came in 1963 with the publication of Where the Wild Things Are, which he wrote and illustrated. Many more books followed, and Sendak went on to design sets for stage and operatic productions of his own work and those of others. He is credited with creating a new kind of children’s literature, in which the boys and girls often misbehave, get in trouble, and speak back to their parents and other adults. Over the course of his career, he received dozens of awards, including the National Medal of the Arts in 1996. Eugene Glynn, a psychiatrist, was his partner of more than fifty years, and died in 2007. Sendak died in 2012.