Marguerite Breithaupt Henry was born in Milwaukee in April 13, 1902, the youngest child of a publisher. At the age of 8, she contracted rheumatic fever, which kept her confined indoors for several years. She spent much of her childhood writing and reading, and sold her first story in 1913 to a women’s magazine for $12. Henry graduated from Milwaukee State Teachers College in 1922, intent on becoming an English teacher as well as pursuing writing. Upon marrying Sidney Crocker Henry in 1923, she moved first to Philadelphia, and later settled near Chicago.
In 1930, she published her first children’s book, Auno and Tauno, and decided to write primarily for children. In 1945, she published Justin Morgan Had a Horse with Wesley Dennis, who would become her long-time collaborator. This was a Newbery Honor Book. In 1947, she published Misty of Chincoteague, one of the best-known children’s books, which also won the Newbery Honor. Misty was the start of a series of books about horses, including King of the Wind, which won the Newbery Award in 1948. Throughout her career, Henry’s love for animals, and especially horses, was central to her writing. In all, Henry wrote over 50 children’s books before her death in 1997. Other books by Marguerite Henry include: Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin (1947), Stormy, Misty’s Foal (1963), and Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley (1996).
Ms. Henry died in 1997, at the age of 95.