Armstrong Sperry, author and illustrator of more than 25 books, was born on November 7th, 1897 in New Haven Connecticut, and received his first academic training at Yale School of Art.
Sperry received the Newbery Award in 1941 for Call It Courage, a story based on a legend of the South Seas. Mafatu, the son of the chief, is afraid of the sea, which took his mother when he was three. To conquer his fear, he leaves home in a canoe with his dog.
Sperry credits his grandfather's storytelling with his inspiration for his interest in the South Seas. Sperry died in 1976.