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Dick King-Smith
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    (March 27, 1922-January 4, 2011)
    Born in Bitton, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Ronald Gordon King-Smith
    Wrote over 100 children's books
    Best known book was 'The Sheep-Pig' (1983) which was the basis for the movie Babe
    Appeared in the British TV series 'Rub-A-Dub Tub' (1983), 'Pob's Programme' (1985-87) and 'Tumbledown Farm' (1988-89)
    Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to children's literature (2010)
    He ran two farms that went under due to his lack of business sense. ('I had animals that I liked. Now I see that it was rather a stupid way to run a farm, but at the time I felt I didn't have to conform.')
    He became a teacher, but was moved from teaching juniors to pre-school because he could not handle long division.
    He did not become a published writer until he was in his 50s.
    He said, 'As much as I love The Wind in the Willows and the works of Beatrix Potter, I never dress my animals in clothes... They behave as animals should behave, with the exception that they open their mouths and speak the Queen's English.' (That's a pretty big exception there.)
    He served with the Grenadier Guards in World War II and was wounded by a grenade in Italy.
    He was married to his first wife Myrtle for 57 years until her death.
    He was described by the Guardian as 'delightfully old-fashioned without being in the least an old fogey.'
    He sold over 15 million books.
    He said, 'A real adult, someone who is really grown up and adult, someone like Mrs Thatcher, couldn't possibly write a book for children. Somebody like me, even when I'm 85, is pretty damned childish. I laugh at things that young children laugh at.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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