The British author Dick King-Smith is probably best known for his children’s books about animals. He wrote his first book in 1978, and his stories are still being read by children all over the world.
Here are some facts about Dick King-Smith. Hopefully you’ll find out something you didn’t know about this great children’s writer.
- Dick King-Smith was born on 27th March 1922 and he died on 4th January 2011. He was aged 88.
- He said that he had a very happy childhood, living in the countryside in Somerset.
- His father owned and ran several paper mills.
- Dick King-Smith went to school at Marlborough College, a famous public school.
- He joined the Army in 1939 and served in the Grenadier Guards. He was mostly fighting in Italy and he took part in the Salerno landings.
- Dick King-Smith was wounded in Florence during World War Two and he was forced to return home to England.
- Dick married his childhood girlfriend, Myrle, on 6th February 1943.
- After the war ended, he became the manager of a farm owned by his Dad’s company.
- Dick and Myrle had three children – two daughters (Juliet and Lizzie) and one son (Giles).
- Unfortunately, Dick’s farm was forced to close (because the family paper mill company went out of business) and he had to find a new job. He tried his hand at selling fire-fighting equipment and working in a shoe factory before he decided to train to be a teacher.
- Dick King-Smith was a teacher at Farmborough Primary School.
- Dick King-Smith’s first book, The Fox Busters, was published in 1978.
- Once he started writing books for children, Dick found it hard to stop. He has written over one hundred children’s books and at one point he was writing about eight every year.
- His most famous book is called The Sheep Pig and this was turned into the film Babe.
- Dick often appeared on the TV series Rub-A-Dub Tub and Pob.
- His house was called Diamond Cottage (in Somerset) and his writing office was right at the very top.
- He wrote all of his first drafts in pen and he typed them up on an old typewriter.
- Dick loved animals. He had pet dogs called Susie and Dodo, pet rats and mice, and he enjoyed breeding budgies, geese and rabbits.
- Myrle, Dick’s wife, passed away in 2000.
- Dick King-Smith was awarded an OBE in 2010.
- His final book was published in 2007 and it was called The Mouse Family Robinson.
What next? Learn more about other famous children’s authors.