Raymond Briggs has died aged 88 - who was The Snowman creator and tributes

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Author of Christmas classic The Snowman has died aged 88.

Beloved author and illustrator Raymond Briggs has died on August 9, 2022, aged 88.

Briggs is one of the UK’s best known picture book creators, with works such as The Snowman, Fungus the Bogeyman and Father Christmas, and has become a household name for the Christmas season.

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His most successful work, The Snowman from 1978, was turned into an iconic film in 1982 that would become an instant Christmas classic seen on television every year since then.

Who was Raymond Briggs?

Raymond Briggs posing for media in a designer deckchair in Hyde Park, London. Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who is best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88, his publisher Penguin Random House said.Raymond Briggs posing for media in a designer deckchair in Hyde Park, London. Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who is best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88, his publisher Penguin Random House said.
Raymond Briggs posing for media in a designer deckchair in Hyde Park, London. Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who is best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88, his publisher Penguin Random House said.

Raymond Redvers Briggs was born 18 January 1934 in Wimbledon, Surrey, and took up illustration at an early age.

Calling himself a “miserable git”, Raymond Briggs always stated that he himself disliked the very season he has become so associated with. Once famously quoted “I don’t like the season at all and I make a point of grumping about it”.

Despite this his wordless illustrated book The Snowman, about a boy who befriends his snowman after it comes to life, has become a seasonal staple for kids and parents all over the world.

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Briggs spent his life with his first wife Jean, who died in 1973, before meeting his partner for over 40 years, Liz.

Raymond Briggs would continue to illustrate and write even after Liz died from parkinson’s disease in 2015.

Who has paid tribute to Raymond Briggs?

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Raymond Briggs family has paid tribute to the author releasing a statement saying: ‘He lived a rich and full life, and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean, and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.

“He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and craziness with his family, and with his family of artist friends – at get-togethers, fancy dress parties and summer picnics in the garden.

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“He played practical jokes and enjoyed them being played on him. All of us close to him knew his irreverent humour – this could be biting in his work when it came to those in power.”

Managing director of Penguin Random House children’s books, Francesca Dow paid tribute to the author saying: “Raymond was unique. He has inspired generations of creators of picture books, graphic novels, and animations. He leaves an extraordinary legacy, and a big hole.”

Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner paid tribute on Twitter writing “Raymond Briggs brought so much magic  and joy to so many. Rest in peace. And thank you for the memories.”

Briggs literary agent, Hilary Delamere, said he would be remembered "for his stories of love and of loss", and: "I know from the many letters he received how his books and animations touched people’s hearts."

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"He kept his curiosity and sense of wonder right up to the last. He was fascinated by, and interested in us all and how we live our lives."

Briggs’ relatives have said that he spent his final weeks before his death at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

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