Did Raymond Briggs have children of his own? The beloved children’s author died aged 88 on Tuesday, 9 August, 2022
He is best-known for writing children’s classic The Snowman in 1978.
The author’s family confirmed his death in a statement on Wednesday: “We know Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news.”
The cause of death has not been disclosed.
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The Snowman author dies, aged 88
Raymond Briggs was born on 18 January 1934 in Wimbledon, south west London, to milkman Ernest Redvers Briggs and former lady’s maid Ethel Bowyer.
He studied art and advertisement for a while before starting his lasting career as a children’s illustrator. In 1966, Briggs was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustrating children’s rhyme book The Mother Goose Treasury.
He went on to win a second Greenaway award for his work in the novel Father Christmas, which was published in 1973. In 1974, The Snowman, which sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide, was published. His release of Fungus The Bogeyman in 1977 captured children’s minds with the fascinating slimy creatures of Bogeydom.
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Raymond Briggs didn’t have children for this heartbreaking reason
The author’s late wife Jean Taprell Clark appears in many memories recorded in his 2019 book Time For Lights Out. Briggs said the work was autobiographical and, in his own words, told the Guardian it was a “hotchpotch” of many aspects of his life.
Memories in the novel include his late wife Jean. She suffered from schizophrenia so they made a decision not to have children. Jean died of leukaemia in 1973.
In his book Time For Lights Out, Briggs includes heartbreaking but inspiring photographs and even a love letter Jean wrote to him from hospital.
Who was Raymond Briggs’ wife, Jean?
Raymond and Jean married in 1963 and were together for ten years before her death in 1973.
Jean Taprell Clark was a painter who was known to have suffered from schizophrenia and was diagnosed with leukaemia. She passed away just two months after the tragic diagnosis.
In his writings, Briggs admitted Jean’s mental illness made social life difficult but he found her schizophrenia “inspiring” because it meant “her feelings about nature and experiences of life were very intense.”
Briggs went on to meet Liz, a retired schoolteacher, after Jean’s death. The couple enjoyed each other’s company for almost four decades but kept separate homes throughout. Liz sadly passed away in 2015 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
In an interview with Times Magazine, Briggs said his daily routine included visiting Liz’s grave.