Pete Seeger died on January 27, 2014 of natural causes at the age of 94. The noted folk singer and musician was equally respected for his political activism as for his music. After being “blacklisted” during the early 1950’s McCarthy-era anti-Communist movement, Seeger was able to continuing performing and recording folksongs for children. Most libraries still have his books and CD’s, including the book Abiyoyo (MacMillan, 1986), popularized on the public television show “Reading Rainbow.” Seeger’s final Grammy Award was given in 2010 for Best Musical Album for Children for “Tomorrow’s Children.” Seeger’s many awards and honors include being an inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center honoree, and the Schneider Family Book Award for The Deaf Musicians (Putnam, 2006).
Morrie Turner, creator of the comic strip “Wee Pals,” has died at the age of 90. Turner was a ground-breaking African-American cartoonist – the first to draw a nationally syndicated comic strip. Many librarians remember Turner as a gracious visitor, talking to children and demonstrating his drawing techniques during library programs. Morris “Morrie” Turner was born in Oakland, CA in 1923, attending schools in Oakland and Berkeley. He developed “Wee Pals” while working as a clerk for the Oakland Police Department in 1965. Turner’s work has been featured in exhibits at the San Francisco Cartoon Museum, the San Francisco Public Library, and at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland.