Shel Silverstein

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country us.gif US American cartoonist, musician and writer

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born 1932 Chicago (Illinois, USA) ; died 10 May 1999

Shel Silverstein is responsible for many beloved, if some controversial, children's books. He is perhaps best known for his collections of children's poetry, Where the sidewalk ends (1974) and A light in the attic (1981), books which have the distinction of incredibly long stays on the New York Times bestseller list. Silverstein also penned the children's classic The giving tree (1963), which has provoked responses ranging from a ministers' praise for its example of Christian altruism to a feminists' complaints that it glorifies the exploitation of women. In addition to his work for children, Silverstein has served as a longtime Playboy cartoonist since 1956, has written several plays for adults, and has penned and recorded country and novelty songs such as "A boy named Sue" (for Johnny Cash) and "Sylvia's mother" (for Dr. Hook).

Shel Silverstein died on 10 May 1999 from a heart attack.