Louis Darling

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Louis Darling
Photograph of Louis Darling
Darling (published 1963)
Born(1916-04-26)April 26, 1916[1]
Stamford, Connecticut[1]
DiedJanuary 21, 1970(1970-01-21) (aged 53)[2]
Norwich, Connecticut[2]
Spouse(s)Lois MacIntyre Darling (1917–1989)[3]

Louis Darling, Jr. (April 26, 1916 – January 21, 1970) was an American illustrator, writer, and environmentalist, best known for illustrating the Henry Huggins series and other children's books written by Beverly Cleary. He and his wife Lois provided illustrations for the first edition of Silent Spring.


Darling was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and would live in Connecticut for most of his life. He attended the Grand Central School of Art in New York City.[2] After graduation and two years of private study, he worked at an agency for a time before enlisting in the Army Air Force in 1942. He served in the Air Force as a photographer for four years.[1]

He married zoologist and artist Lois MacIntyre in 1946.[1][2] They would remain married until his death, and frequently collaborated on both writing and illustration. They had no children. His mother-in-law, Grace, was a painter as well.[4]

Also in 1946, Darling was hired by William Morrow and Company to illustrate Roderick Haig-Brown's book A River Never Sleeps. Subsequently, he began illustrating, and then writing, children's books, mostly for Morrow. He was assigned to Beverly Cleary's first book, Henry Huggins, in 1950, which began his best-known association; he would illustrate most of Cleary's books until his death. The character of Huggins was called a "modern Tom Sawyer" in the 1950s.[5]

He wrote his first book, Greenhead, in 1954. He would later write: "I started to write my own books because it seemed to me that there was seldom enough cooperation between author and illustrator. The best way to get this cooperation was to become the author myself."[1]

In 1962, the Darlings' friend Roger Tory Peterson suggested to Rachel Carson that they be hired to illustrate her forthcoming book, Silent Spring. Their illustrations would be used on the chapter headings and the title page of the first edition.[6]

Darling wrote and illustrated The Gull's Way, a book about American herring gulls on an island in Maine, which was published in 1965. To research it, he had camped alone on the uninhabited island for six weeks, observing and photographing the gulls.[2] The book won the John Burroughs Medal in 1966.[7]

His final collaboration with Lois was A Place in the Sun: Ecology and the Living World, published in 1968. Darling died of cancer in 1970 with Cleary dedicating her book Runaway Ralph to him.[2]

Environmental activism[edit]

Darling had been interested in nature and the outdoors his entire life, and was an early environmentalist and conservationist. He was the president of Connecticut Conservationists, a consortium of environmentalist groups formed to oppose the dredging of Long Island Sound for the Connecticut Turnpike. The organization unsuccessfully sued the state of New York in 1956 to prevent the action, although they were successful in reducing the size of a planned parking lot that was to be built in a Connecticut salt marsh.[2]


Published books[edit]

One of Darling's illustrations for Beverly Cleary's 1962 book Henry and the Clubhouse.
As writer and illustrator
  • Darling, Louis (1954). Greenhead. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 1594142.
  • Darling, Louis (1955). Chickens and How to Raise Them. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 299182795.
  • Darling, Louis (1955). Seals and Walruses. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 1408226.
  • Darling, Louis (1956). Penguins. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 1295097.
  • Darling, Louis (1958). Kangaroos and Other Animals with Pockets. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 1409914.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1959). Before and After Dinosaurs. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 896781.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1960). Sixty Million Years of Horses. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 1260106.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1961). The Science of Life. Cleveland: World Pub. Co. OCLC 1593449.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1962). Bird. Boston: Cambridge Riverside Press. OCLC 486821752.
  • Darling, Louis (1962). Turtles. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 676809.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1963). Coral Reefs. Cleveland: World Pub. Co. OCLC 1409527.
  • Darling, Louis (1965). The Gull's Way. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 556202.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1965). The Sea Serpents Around Us. Boston: Little, Brown. OCLC 1417527.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1968). A Place in the Sun: Ecology and the Living World. New York: Wm. Morrow. ISBN 0-688-21485-1. OCLC 182940270.
  • Darling, Lois; Darling, Louis (1972). Worms. New York: Wm. Morrow. OCLC 706332.
As illustrator only


  1. ^ a b c d e Darling, Louis (1963). "Louis Darling". In Fuller, Muriel. More Junior Authors. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company. pp. 60–61. OCLC 422123346.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Louis Darling, 53, Illustrator and Conservationist, Is Dead". The New York Times. January 24, 1970. p. 31.
  3. ^ "Women of History – D:". A Bit of History. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  4. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.); Carrie Rebora Barratt; Lori Zabar (1 January 2010). American Portrait Miniatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-1-58839-357-9.
  5. ^ Henry Huggins, The Camping magazine, Volume 25 By American Camping Association, Camp Directors Association (U.S.), accessed May 2010
  6. ^ Lear, Linda (1997). Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-3428-5. OCLC 53648146.
  7. ^ a b "JBA Medal Award List". New York: John Burroughs Association. March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2010.

External links[edit]