Sendak illustrated nearly 100 books during a 60-year career, winning dozens of accolades as he endeared himself to generations of children reared on his fanciful stories. One critic called him "the Picasso of children's literature." Former President Bill Clinton called him the "king of dreams."
Born in Brooklyn the son of Polish immigrants, Sendak grew up to take a few night classes but largely taught himself as an artist.
He is best known for his book, "Where the Wild Things Are." It tells the story of a boy named Max, who dresses in a white wolf costume and escapes his life at home by sailing to a remote land, where he discovers wild things who roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth.
HarperCollins: Sendak speaks about "Where the Wild Things Are"
The book stirred controversy when it was first published in 1963. Many librarians initially feared it would disturb children, although it has become a timeless classic well-stocked in bookstores and libraries around the world.
Sendak received the Caldecott Medal for "Where the Wild Things Are" and was known for other favorite children's classics, such as "In the Night Kitchen," "Chicken Soup with Rice," "Alligators All Around," and the "Little Bear" books.