October 26, 2006, Theodore Taylor passed away in his
beloved “house in the woods” in Laguna Beach, California. He
was surrounded by his family, his books and years of
would be the first to say that his 85 years on earth were
as good as they come. He had come a long way from his hard
scrabble roots in North Carolina. His life’s adventures took
him to wild and wooly places among them boxing rings, the
press room of some of the world’s best newspapers, exotic
lands, the high seas, World War Two and Hollywood movie
sets. He collected scraps of stories and interesting
characters along the way. As you read his books, you will go
along on many of those adventures and meet memorable people
(and animals). He often said, “I don’t have much of an
imagination.” We never did believe him.
each morning, Theodore Taylor looked forward to going into
his cluttered office and pecking away at his old dinosaur of
a typewriter. He would tell us, “I want to die hunched over
that typewriter, working away on a story.” In the last few
weeks of his life, as he was very ill, he talked about yet
another book or story that was beginning to take shape in
his mind. He loved his life as a writer and always felt he
had been truly able to live his passion.
he loved his readers and his fans. If you had the
opportunity to write him over the years, you know that each
and every letter was answered and then signed with his
scrawled and almost unreadable signature. He loved visiting
schools and never tired of telling the story of how “Phe-leep”,
Timothy and old Stew Cat came to be. He took great delight
in telling classes of young people how he had flunked math
and had been a miserable student all the while flashing a
huge smile at the teacher. The message came through loud and
clear. Look what you can do. Look what you can overcome. I
did. He loved the many teachers, librarians and booksellers
who have supported him and his work over the years. He was
ever grateful and never hesitated to say so.
left a mark on the world with over 50 books
for people of all ages, countless short stories, a few movie
scripts and even a poem or two. He left an impression with
all (both two and four legged) who had the privilege to meet
him and those who know him only through the words he wrote.
We take great comfort in knowing that his legacy lives on in
his works that will surely delight and entertain readers for
years to come.
The family of Theodore Taylor
Click here to
read Theodore Taylor's comments about his autobiography,
Making Love to Typewriters.