Norman Bridwell came up with the name “Clifford”
Norman Bridwell came up with the name “Clifford” after drawing an imaginary friend of hers as a child. His wife suggested the name Clifford after an imaginary childhood playmate.
Mr. Norman Bridwell wanted to give the dog a different name, but his wife thought it would be boring. He wanted to call it Tiny, but she discouraged obvious clichés and fell for Clifford, his wife’s imaginary childhood friend. He made Big Red Dog bigger and named it after Clifford and Norma’s imaginary childhood friend, but he still wanted to call it Tiny.
Clifford the Big Red Dog author lives with his wife and has three grandchildren: his son Timothy and daughter Emily Bridwell-Merz. The Bridwells son appears in The Witch Next Door, one of several books he has written about witches and monsters.
He is survived by his wife Norman Howard Bridwell of 56 years, and their two children, Tim Bridwell and Emily Bridwell. Survivors include his wife Norma Bridwell of Edgartown, Mass. Bridwell (author of The Witch Next Door and Tiny Family) is also survived by her children Tim and Emily.
Norman Ray Bridwell Books
Norman Ray Bridwell, author of the children’s book series Clifford the Big Red Dog grew up in Kokomo, Indiana and attended the John Herron Art Institute of Indianapolis and the Cooper Union Art School in New York City to study illustration. Vern Bridwell (Bridwell’s father) worked in a factory, and Leona Bridwell (Bridwell’s mother) stayed at home. Bridwell worked as a graphic designer for 12 years before turning to book illustration after the birth of his daughter Emily Elizabeth.
Norman Ray Bridwell put together a portfolio and tried to get a job as a children’s book illustrator, but was rejected by fifteen publishers. In 1962, author and cartoonist Norman Bridwell, best known for his famous Clifford the Big Red Dog books, set off to supplement his earnings by securing work as children’s book illustrator with his portfolio and a painting that would become the series. In an effort to find more work, Mr Bridwell offered his services to children’s illustrators.
Bridwells publisher Scholastic commissioned dozens of Clifford picture books, board books and pop-up volumes. They are estimated to have sold more than 120 million copies. According to The Globe, of all the authors who bought Cliffords in 2004, only 10% of scholastic publishers were chosen as authors or publishers.
The franchise included games, stuffed animals and an animated series on public television in which actor John Ritter played Clifford. After attending the Herron School of the Arts in Indianapolis, Norman Bridwell moved to New York with the intention of becoming an artist.
Bridwell short biography
Norman Ray Bridwell of Edgartown who thrilled millions of young and old readers by the author of the Cliffords Big Red Dog book series, was born in 1928 in Kokomo, Indiana, according to a biography by Scholastic Books. Norma Bridwell was born on February 15, 1928, in Pokomo, Ind., to a factory worker and a housewife. Early on he was drawn to high school studies at the John Herron Art Institute of Indianapolis and the Herron School of Art and Design, now part of the Indiana University in Cooper Union in New York.
Norman Ray Bridwell of Edgartown died at Marthas Vineyard Hospital at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife Norma, daughter Emily Elizabeth, son Timothy and three grandchildren. Norman Bridwell was born on February 15th, 1928 in Kokomo, Indiana to Leona and Vern Bridwell and died on December 12th, 2014. He was 74.
Clifford turned 50 in 2012, a year in which Norma Bridwell was honored with many awards and quotes. In 2002, she was a guest of honor at the National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress.
The most popular books of Norman Bridwell are Halloween (1966), Clifford’s Good Deeds (1975), Clifford and the Small Red Puppy (1972), Clifford the Firehouse Dog (1994) and Clifford’s Birthday Party (1988). Despite Clifford’s success, Norma Bridwell continued to live independently.
After his death tributes and condolences have poured in throughout the country and around the world for Norman Bridwell, the celebrated illustrator and children’s book author who inspired several generations with his Clifford, the Big Red Dog books. Of course, many of Mr. Bridwell’s stories have been translated into 13 languages with more than 150 Clifford titles and 129 million printed copies of his books. Kyle Good, the spokesperson for Scholastic Books, who has released dozens of Clifford’s “Big Red Dog” characters over the past half-century who play a large role for toddlers and illuminate the great white whale in the American title canon, confirmed that Mr. Bridwell died without giving a cause.
This 2012 image shows writer and illustrator Norman Bridwell next to Clifford at the Clifford 50th Party in New York City on September 20. The Marion County staff map is available from the Indiana State Archives. Writer and illustrator Norman Bridwell is no more.