NEW YORK, July 16 Donald J. Sobol, best known
for his popular "Encyclopedia Brown" detective series of
children's books, has died. He was 87.
Sobol, the author of dozens of fiction and nonfiction books
but who was mostly celebrated for his engaging mystery books,
died last week, publisher Penguin said in a statement on Monday.
It did not state the cause of death.
"Thanks to Donald, generations of children have learned to
read and solve mysteries alongside Encyclopedia Brown, one of
the most iconic characters in children's literature," Don
Weisberg, president of Penguin Young Readers Group, said in the
Sobol's "Encyclopedia Brown" series began in 1963 with each
book featuring the amateur boy detective Leroy "Encyclopedia"
Brown as a brainy young whiz who solves about 10 different short
mysteries in each book. The series has since influenced other
children's mystery authors and was turned into a 1989 TV series.
The latest installment, "Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of
the Soccer Scheme," will be published in October. The series has
been translated into 12 languages and has sold millions of
copies worldwide, according to Penguin.
The New York City-born author, who started out as reporter
for the New York Sun newspaper, began writing mysteries in 1957
and also penned the "Wacky" series and the "Two Minute
Mysteries" popular syndicated column featuring a character who
He won several awards during his writing career, including
the Edgar Award for his contribution to mystery writing in the
He is survived by his wife, a sister, three children and
(Reporting By Christine Kearney; Editing by Richard Chang)