The Snowman author Raymond Briggs dies aged 88

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His family paid tribute to the author in a statement, saying Briggs has lived “a rich and fulfilling life.”

Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for creating the popular 1978 classic The Snowman, has died at the age of 88.

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His family confirmed in a statement from his publisher, Penguin Random House, that Briggs died on Tuesday morning (August 9).

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The snowman has sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide, and Briggs also created the popular children’s books Father Christmas and Fungus The Bogeyman.

“A rich and fulfilling life”

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Briggs’ family paid tribute to him in a statement, saying he lived a “rich and fulfilling life.”

They said: “We know Raymond’s books have been loved and touched by millions of people around the world who will be saddened to hear this news.

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“Fan drawings – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned to the wall of his studio.

“Living a rich and fulfilling life, he said he feels fortunate to have had both his wife Jean and his 40-something partner Liz in his life.

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“He shared his love of the outdoors with Liz on walks in the South Downs and family holidays in Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and wackiness with his family and family of artist friends—at get-togethers, costume parties, and summer picnics in the garden.

“He played pranks and enjoyed it when they were played on him.

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“All of us who were close to him knew his irreverent sense of humor – it could sting in his work when it came to those in power. He liked The Guardian’s editorial, which described itself as an “iconoclastic national treasure.”

The family thanked the Royal Sussex County Hospital for caring for Raymond in his final weeks.

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Briggs is survived by his stepdaughter Clare and her husband Fynn; his stepson Tom and his wife Sarah and his stepchildren: Connie, Tilly and Miles.

Life and Career of Raymond Briggs

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Born in Wimbledon in 1934, Briggs showed an early interest in cartooning and studied at the Wimbledon School of Art – and later at the Slade School of Fine Art.

He briefly devoted himself to painting before becoming a professional illustrator.

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He also worked in advertising and later gained recognition as a book author and taught illustration at Brighton College of Art.

The Snowman was published as a wordless picture book by Hamish Hamilton in 1978 and has since sold more than 5.5 million copies in various formats around the world.

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Producer John Coates later created an animated version of The Snowman for Channel 4, which first aired on Boxing Day 192. It’s now a holiday staple and has been featured at Christmas every year since.

Birggs has also won many awards and accolades throughout his career, including the Kurt Maschler Award, Children’s Book of the Year, the Dutch Silver Pen Award and twice the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award for The Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Treasury and Father Christmas.

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