Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began by illustrating other authors' books for children, but the first book that he both wrote and illustrated was Kenny's Window, published in 1956. Since then he has illustrated over 80 books, and has won many awards, including the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he was the first American to win the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator's Medal. In 1978 the University of Boston made him Doctor of Humane Letters and in 1983 he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for a 'substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children over a period of years'.