Patricia C. Mckissack
Patricia L'Ann Carwell McKissack (August 9, 1944 – April 7, 2017) was a children’s author who chronicled African American history and Southern folklore in more than 100 early reader and picture books.
Patricia L'Ann Carwell was born to civil servant parents Robert and Erma Carwell in Smyrna, Tennessee. She was inspired to be a writer by her mother who always read her poetry and also by her grandparents who told her many stories. Her father's stories usually included the names of her and siblings Nolan and Sarah. The characters in these stories were always smart and brave, characteristics present in Patricia's later works. Patricia and her siblings grew up in the south and they all remember the poetry her mother told by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
While attending Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State University, now known as the Tennessee State University, Patricia met up with a childhood friend, Fredrick McKissack, who would later become her husband. After traveling to Missouri, Patricia attended Webster University and graduated with an M.A. in child education. She then became a junior high-school English teacher but in 1971 realized that she wanted to be an author.
Ms. McKissack, told her publisher, Random House, that she wrote “because there’s a clear need for books written about the minority experience in America”.
She died on April 7, 2017. She was 72.