Astrid Lindgren was born on November 14th in Vimmerby, Sweden. With no formal training beyond high school, she wrote Pippi Longstocking as a present for her daughter's 10th birthday. Published in 1945, red-haired, strong-willed Pippi differed radically from the familiar literary tradition of the time. Lindgren received the Raben & Sjogren's best children's book prize and became a book editor for that publisher for many years. Lindgren went on to publish over 100 books, which have sold tens of millions of copies.
Her characters have inspired many television and screen adaptations and even a theme park. Lindgren received the Hans Christian Anderson Award in 1958 and the Mildred Batchelder Award for Ronia, the Robber's Daughter in 1984. She died in January of 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden, at the age of 94.
"I don't consciously try to influence the children who read my books," Lindgren said, "all I dare hope for is that they may contribute a little bit towards a humane and democratic view of the world in the children who read them."