Donald J. Sobol, creator of the Encyclopedia Brown series for children, died at age 87 on July 11. Over the course of his mystery writing career, which began in 1959 with Two-Minute Mysteries, Sobol wrote more than 65 books and won a special Edgar Award in 1976.
The Encyclopedia Brown series centers on Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown, a boy detective nicknamed for his vast knowledge of facts, who helps his police chief father solve local cases, usually by dinner time. Sobol came up with the concept when he came across a book by chance at the New York Public Library. The book had puzzles on one side of the page and solutions on the other, and it occurred to him to write a mystery book in the same style. Since the publication of the first Encyclopedia Brown novel in 1963, the books have never been out of print and have been translated into 12 languages.
He is survived by his wife, Rose; a sister, Helen; three children Diane, Eric and John; and four grandchildren, Gregory, Bryan, Lauren and Nicholas.
Did you grow up with Encyclopedia Brown, Bugs Meany, and Sally Kimball? What was your favorite mystery?