Raymond Briggs Dies: ‘The Snowman’ Creator Was 88

Raymond Briggs, who created the original picture book that became beloved Academy Award-nominated short The Snowmanhas died aged 88.

Briggs’ family put out a statement via publisher Penguin Random House this morning stating that he had “lived a rich and full life” and passed away yesterday.

“He shared his love of nature with [late partner] Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales,” it added. “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.”

Briggs was recognized for a wealth of popular picture books that included Fungus the Bogeyman and the Father Christmas series, each of which was filled with his trademark illustrative style.

He was best known for 1978’s The Snowman, a beautiful picture book that told the story of a boy who builds a snowman who comes to life at the stroke of midnight.

That book was adapted into an animated short by Channel 4 in 1982, the year the network launched, and went on to be nominated for an Academy Award. Synonymous with Aled Jones’ lead vocals, it is played every year in the UK at Christmas time.

Following The Snowman’s success, Briggs went on to write adult content such as Gentleman Jim and When the Wind Blows. He won a wealth of awards including a CBE and was inducted into the British Comic Awards Hall of Fame n 2012.

His wife Jean died in 1973 and partner Liz died in 2015.

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