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E. L. Konigsburg

Born: New York, United States of America

E. L. Konigsburg

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was born on February 10, 1930, and she died on April 19, 2013. She was 83.

"I was born in New York City. But my family moved when I was still an infant. Except for a year and half when we lived in Youngstown, Ohio, I grew up in small towns in Pennsylvania. I graduated from high school in Farrell, Pennsylvania.

"When I was in college at Carnegie Mellon University, I was interested in chemistry, so I became a chemist. I worked in a laboratory, married David, a psychologist, and went to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Then I taught science at a private girls' school. I had three children — Paul, Laurie, and Ross — and waited until all three were in school before I started writing.

"I get ideas for my books from people I know and what happens to them, from places I've been and what happens to me, and from things I read.

"After I won the Newbery Medal for From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, children all over the world let me know that they liked books that take them to unusual places where they meet unusual people. That gave me the courage to write about Eleanor of Aquitaine in A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver and about Leonardo da Vinci in The Second Mrs. Giaconda. Readers let me know that they like books that have more to them than meets the eye. Had they not let me know that, I never would have written The View From Saturday.

"When I won a Newbery Medal for that book, I was filled with joy. And that's a fact. I knew that kids would love meeting one character and then two and three, and I also knew — because I had learned it from them — that they would think that fitting all the stories together was part of the adventure. I knew I had been right about the spirit of adventure shared by good readers. I owe children a good story."