Sid FleischmanThe SDSU Library lost a friend on March 17. One day after his 90th birthday, Sid Fleischman—SDSU alumnus and prolific children’s book author—died at his home in Santa Monica, California.

Fleischman grew up in San Diego and graduated from SDSU in 1949. He worked as a magician, served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and was a reporter for the San Diego Daily Journal until it ceased publication in 1950. He originally entered the world of writing as a screenwriter, penning the scripts for such movies as Blood Alley, Goodbye, My Lady, and Deadly Companions.

Mr. Mysterious & Company was Fleischman’s first children’s book, published in 1962. More than 35 books followed, including The Whipping Boy, for which he won the coveted Newbery Medal. Recently, he published The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West. Sir Charlie Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World, will be out later this year.

Fleischman remained close to SDSU. He donated many copies of his books and some of his manuscripts to the library. In 2004, he was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, or Monty Award. His play Prince Brat and the Whipping Boy was presented during the SDSU Theatre Department’s 2004 Theatre of the World Festival, and Fleischman visited the library during that time for a book signing and magic show.

We will miss you, Sid Fleischman. You brought a lot of magic, joy, and good reading into the world.

Additional resources on Sid Fleischman:

The Dome Newsletter
School Library Journal
Sid Fleischman’s Official Website