The news of Norman Bridwell’s Dec. 12 death came as an unwelcome shock to fans who grew up reading and watching his beloved children’s character, ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog.’
Norman Bridwell, 86, passed away peacefully on Martha’s Vineyard late last week while surrounded by loved ones. He leaves behind a rich legacy that has touched the hearts of millions of children worldwide for generations with his Clifford the Big Red Dog book franchise.
Clifford Fans React To Creator Norman Bridwell’s Death
Norman’s death on Dec. 12 hit home for many people who grew up on the lovable character he created, Clifford the Big Red Dog.
However, the iconic character almost never came into international fame, as multiple publishers turned the author/illustrator’s book idea down before Scholastic finally took a chance on him in 1963.
The oversized bright red dog and his loving owner Emily Elizabeth, named after Norman’s own daughter, struck a chord with readers, spawning over 120 million copies of his stories over the years, followed by multiple cartoons, a feature film, and scores of kids’ toys and merchandise.
“A lot of people were Clifford fans and that makes them Norman fans, too,” Norman’s wife of 56 years, Norma Bridwell, told the Associated Press shortly after Norman’s passing.
That statement proved to be very true, as an outpouring of mourning messages flooded social media as the news of the author and illustrator’s death broke nationally on Dec. 17.
Shocked & Saddend Fans React To Norman’s Death On Twitter
— Scholastic (@Scholastic) December 16, 2014
Rip to the creator of clifford the big red dog 😞 all of my childhood actors and writers are dying this year and it sucks
— kendal (@ScrewYoCouch) December 17, 2014
— Alejandro Rosado (@aleroart) December 17, 2014
Sad to see the passing of author of Clifford books. I strongly identified with the big, ginger dog as a child. http://t.co/ccboWR33Vg
— Chris Hamby (@ChrisDHamby) December 17, 2014
Thank you for sharing Clifford with us, Norman Bridwell. You will be missed. http://t.co/TA5pYm3KVT
— Ann Handley (@annhandley) December 17, 2014
I can't begin to tell you how much my son loved Clifford the Big Red Dog. Rest in Peace & thank you, Normal Bridwell http://t.co/eaOxBy5Htj
— Colleen Mondor (@chasingray) December 16, 2014
So sad! Holywoodlifers, are you equally as floored by Norman’s death?
— Rivea Ruff