Cleary, Beverly,1916–, American children's books author, b. McMinnville, Ore. as Beverly Atlee Bunn. She began her career as a children's librarian and realized the need for books about the lives of ordinary children. Drawing on her own childhood, she wrote Henry Huggins (1950), her first book, followed by 40 other novels for children. Best known are the 14 books she wrote about Henry, his dog Ribsy, his friend Beezuz, and her sister, the irrepressible Ramona. With their timeless quality and gentle humor, her books have been enormously popular, and she has won many awards including the Newbery and Laura Ingalls Wilder medals, the National Medal of Art, and the Library of Congress's Living Legend award.
See her memoirs, A Girl from Yamhill (1988) and My Own Two Feet (1995); studies by P. Pflieger (1991) and J. Kelly (1996).