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June 1, 2016

Remembering Norman Bridwell

Clifford is everywhere in the Scholastic building. He greets you by the reception desk. He waves at you from the visitor’s passes people wear when they stop by. His pawprint is scattered around our intranet. You don’t have to love the Big Red Dog to work here, but it certainly helps.

Created in 1963, after an editor suggested there might be a story in a painting Norman Bridwell had made of a small girl and a big dog, Clifford has gone on to star in more than 150 books. He also inspired an award-winning TV show on PBS and has inspired millions of children to “Be Big” celebrating important values like kindness, responsibility, and respect.

For Clifford’s 50th Anniversary, Scholastic celebrated in a big way. The world’s largest birthday card covered the front of our building. Hundreds of children gathered to meet Emily Elizabeth and Clifford. Readers of all ages sent their greetings and joined the party via a webcast. At an event with Norman Bridwell later that day, what struck many of us was the incredible kindness, humor, and humility that he expressed. This was a man whose creation had helped to mold our childhoods and he was here, thanking us for loving his books.

On Friday, December 12, 2014, Norman Bridwell passed away. It is a huge loss for children’s books and for the entire Scholastic family. There is little to say except to thank him once again. We are so very grateful that he introduced us to an improbably Big Red Dog. A friend we have for life.



Photo of Norman Bridwell and Clifford via AP Images.



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December 16, 2014