About Edward Gorey (1925 - 2000)

About Edward Gorey

“[Edward] Gorey’s unique talent should be represented as completely as possible in every collection of American art and literature.” —American Library Association (Booklist)

“An American original . . . one of [the twentieth] century’s foremost eccentric geniuses.” —Print Magazine

Edward St. John Gorey (American, 1925–2000) is famous for the bounty of books he wrote and illustrated, featuring his distinctive humor and masterful crosshatch ink drawings. Creator of more than one hundred works, Gorey also was a set and costume designer for innumerable theater productions from Cape Cod to Broadway—including a celebrated staging of Dracula, for which he was awarded a Tony. His well-known animated credits for the PBS series Mystery! introduced his recognizable style to millions of television viewers.

Born and raised in Chicago (where he attended the Francis W. Parker School and spent a semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Gorey served in the United States Army in World War II (1943–1945), then attended Harvard College (1946–1950).

After college, Gorey moved to New York and worked as an illustrator. He drew the covers for countless books by authors as diverse as Charles Dickens and H. G. Wells. He launched his literary career in 1953 with The Unstrung Harp; or, Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel. Many more books followed, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest, and The Wuggly Ump. For the last two decades of his life, Gorey shared a Cape Cod house full of books, art, a miscellanea of fascinating objects, and, always, a certain number of cats. He established a charitable trust for animal welfare, to include “all creatures great and small.”

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