Marguerite Henry biography flat lay with Misty of Chincoteague bookmark

Author Marguerite Henry Biography in Bullet Points

Marguerite Henry, beloved author of Misty of Chincoteague and King of the Wind, loved words and played with them as a child. Here is a quick biography of the author of dozens of horse books. If you'd like to learn more, read Marguerite, Misty and Me, the newly released Marguerite Henry biography.

  • Born April 13, 1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (baby of the Breithaupt family)
  • Around age 7 received a writer's desk for Christmas, complete with pencils, paper, scissors and glue
  • Around age 11 entered a story into a writing contest hosted by a women's magazine (and won!)
  • Suffered bouts of rheumatic fever during girlhood--dove into reading books
  • Hired by local library to be a book mender
  • In high school, active in drama, Bible study club, yearbook 
  • Went to college at what is now UW-Milwaukee, graduated in 1922
  • Met Sidney Crocker Henry at a fishing camp in Wisconsin's Northwoods--fell in love
  • Wed Sidney in 1923 and moved to Chicago
  • Began writing for Photoplay magazine and other business magazines
  • Traveled with Sidney whose job required him to go to St. Louis, Philadelphia, and other cities
  • Moved to Freeport, Illinois where she met the illustrator who would collaborate on her first book, Auno and Tauno (published in 1939)
  • Wrote several other children's picture books including a Pictured Geography series
  • Moved to Naperville, Illinois where Sidney owned a five and dime
  • Birds at Home, an ornithological anthology published in 1942
  • Started researching for Album of Horses, but sidetracked by the Morgan breed
  • Traveled to Vermont to research the Morgan's founding sire
  • Searched for the world's best horse illustrator--landed on Wesley Dennis (they met in a hotel in New York City and immediately had a connection)
  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse published in 1945
  • In July of 1946 at the urging of her Rand McNally editor, Dr. Mary Alice Jones, Marguerite and Wesley traveled to Chincoteague Island to watch the pony swim. There she fell in love with a newborn filly at Clarence Beebe's Chincoteague Pony Ranch.
  • While on Chincoteague for Pony Penning, Marguerite stayed at Miss Molly's Inn
  • November 1946, the foal named Misty was shipped to Henry's home in Wayne, Illinois for "research purposes"
  • 1947, Misty of Chincoteague published and became a success. Misty the pony became a celebrity and traveled to fan events and book signings
  • 1948 Published King of the Wind which was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1949
  • 1957 Going away party with media at Mole Meadow for Misty. Sent home to Chincoteague to be bred.
  • 1961 Misty of Chincoteague movie released, filmed on location in Chincoteague
  • 1962 Released Stormy, Misty’s Foal based on Misty’s filly
  • 1969 Released Dear Readers and Riders, a collection of letter responses to actual Dan mail she received
  • 1971 Sold Mole Meadow and moved to Rancho Santa Fe, California
  • 1972 Misty of Chincoteague Breyer horse debuted
  • 1987 Sidney died
  • 1988 Wrote an autobiography for Something About the Author which helped her relive life with Sid again.
  • 1987-1989 Researched and wrote a manuscript about miniature horses which was never published
  • 1996 published last book Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley at age 94
  • 1997 Died at home November 26 in Rancho Santa Fe, California at age 95

                                                For more background on this beloved horse and rider books author, snag a copy of Marguerite, Misty and Me: a Horse Lover's Hunt for the Hidden History of Marguerite Henry and Her Chincoteague Pony today!

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