Raymond Briggs, The Snowman Creator And Illustrator, Dies Aged 88

·2 min read
Raymond Briggs (right) pictured in 2008 (Photo: Anthony Devlin via PA Wire/PA Images)
Raymond Briggs (right) pictured in 2008 (Photo: Anthony Devlin via PA Wire/PA Images)

Raymond Briggs (right) pictured in 2008 (Photo: Anthony Devlin via PA Wire/PA Images)

Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for creating The Snowman, has died aged 88.

His family said in a statement that he died on Tuesday morning.

The Snowman was first released as a picture book in 1978, selling more than 5.5 million copies around the world, and was turned into a beloved TV adaptation in 1982.

Raymond was also behind other classics Fungus the Bogeyman and Father Christmas.

The Snowman is Raymond Briggs' most famous work (Photo: The Royal Mint via PA Media)
The Snowman is Raymond Briggs' most famous work (Photo: The Royal Mint via PA Media)

The Snowman is Raymond Briggs' most famous work (Photo: The Royal Mint via PA Media)

His family said: “We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news. Drawings from fans – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio.

“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.

“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. He liked the Guardian editorial describing himself as an ‘iconoclastic national treasure’.”

Raymond’s best-known works were published between 1973 and 1984 and also included Father Christmas Goes On Holiday and The Tin-Pot Foreign General And The Old Iron Woman.

His won numerous prizes across his career, including the Kurt Maschler Award, The Children’s Book of the Year, the Dutch Silver Pen Award.

He was made a CBE for services to literature in 2017.

Raymond is survived by his step-daughter Clare and her husband Fynn; his step-son Tom and his wife Sarah, and his three step-grandchildren.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.