Beverly Cleary, Beloved Children's Book Author, Dead at 104

beverly cleary
Christina Koci Hernandez/San Francisco Chronicle by Getty Images

Cleary penned more than 40 books, including the Ramona Quimby series, over her 50-year career.

Beloved children's book author Beverly Cleary died on Thursday at the age of 104.

Cleary died in Carmel, California, where she’d lived since the 1960s. The prolific writer's career spanned more than 50 years and more than 40 books, beginning with her first, Henry Huggins, which was published in 1950. Clearly also penned the Ramona Quimby series, and other popular titles like The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Strider, Dear Mr. Henshaw and more.

Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books remembered Cleary in a statement, saying: "We are saddened by the passing of Beverly Cleary, one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time. Looking back, she’d often say, 'I’ve had a lucky life,' and generations of children count themselves lucky too—lucky to have the very real characters Beverly Cleary created, including Henry Huggins, Ramona and Beezus Quimby, and Ralph S. Mouse, as true friends who helped shape their growing-up years. We at HarperCollins also feel extremely lucky to have worked with Beverly Cleary and to have enjoyed her sparkling wit.  Her timeless books are an affirmation of her everlasting connection to the pleasures, challenges, and triumphs that are part of every childhood."

Cleary was predeceased by her husband, Clarence Cleary, and is survived by their two children, Malcolm and Marianne, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.