Happy Birthday, Judy Blume! The best-selling author and champion of free speech is 82 years old

happy birthday judy blume
photo via nytimes.com

Judy Blume was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on Feb. 12, 1938. As a young child, she enjoyed letting her imagination run wild but never dreamed she’d become a writer.

As an adult, Blume continued to make up stories in her head, and when her kids were in preschool, she decided to start writing them down.

Some of her most popular titles include “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” “Blubber,” “Just as Long as We’re Together,” and the five-part “Fudge” series. Many of her books are set in New Jersey, where Blume grew up, as well as locations where she has lived as an adult, such as New Mexico and Connecticut.

In addition to her beloved children’s books, Blume has also written bestselling novels for adults. Her most recent, “In the Unlikely Event,” was published in 2015.

Throughout her career, Blume’s books were frequently censored by the American Library Association. Because of that, she became a champion for free speech, fighting to keep challenged books on the shelves and currently sits on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Today, Blume splits her time between New York City and Key West, Florida, where she and her husband own an independent, nonprofit bookstore. They have three children and one grandchild, whose first word was, appropriately, “book!”

This post originally appeared in our February 2020 issue.

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