Phyllis J. Fogelman (1933-2022)

We were very sorry to hear about the death of Phyllis J. Fogelman, one of the “Great Ladies” of children’s publishing, on December 18, 2022. In a phone call earlier this week with her close friend (and former husband) agent Shelly Fogelman, he reiterated her groundbreaking contributions to the field of children’s publishing and recalled some of the professional accomplishments of which she was most proud: working with greats such as Mildred D. Taylor, Leo and Diane Dillon, Tom Feelings, Julius Lester, and Jerry Pinkney; editing books that won the Newbery (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry for Taylor) and Caldecott (Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions for the Dillons) medals in the same year; mentoring editors including Regina Hayes, Anne Schwartz, and Paula Wiseman; and continually confronting and countering the lie that “Black books wouldn’t sell.”

Roger Sutton says: "I have a good Phyllis story (two, actually, but only one is sharable). Phyllis told me that she had made The Giving Tree a hit by convincing Silverstein to do it in marker rather than in watercolor."

Obituary to come in the upcoming Horn Book Magazine.

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