Burgess, Thornton W.

Burgess, Thornton W. (Waldo)

(1874–1965) writer; born in Sandwich, Mass. He was a magazine writer and editor (1895–1911) and a syndicated newspaper columnist (1912–60). Drawing on the bedtime stories he told to his son, he published Old Mother West Wind (1910) and Mother West Wind's Children (1911), the first of his 54 books of stories for children, many featuring a cast of animals that have human names and talk and act like people. (He borrowed the name "Peter Rabbit" from the British author, Beatrix Potter.) He promoted conservationist ideas through his books and his Radio Nature League (founded 1925).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.