On this date in 1985, beloved “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little” author E.B. White died of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 86. A wonderful article in the New York Times appeared soon after. My favorite comments:

  • “He loved his farm, his farm animals, his neighbors, his family and words.”
  • “He could be outspoken and passionate on subjects that were especially close to his heart – the freedom and integrity of the press, personal privacy and liberty, the intrusion of advertising, market surveys and commercialism into everyday living, the conservation of nature, the need for some form of world government. His opponents often succumbed before the force of his purity, ridicule, regret and common sense.”
  • “He never wrote a mean or careless sentence. He was impervious to literary, intellectual and political fashion. He was ageless, and his writing was timeless.
  • “Mr. White turned out some of the most moral, living prose produced by hand in the country.”

What does E.B. stand for? Elwyn Brooks. But his friends called him “Andy”. Click here to read the entire New York Times article by Herbert Mitgang which includes quotes by William Shawn, at that time the editor of the New Yorker magazine.