Joseph Krumgold was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on April 9, 1908. His father operated movie theaters and Joseph was bitten early by the Hollywood bug.
Krumgold, a prolific filmwriter, producer, and director, was hired by the US State Department to make a movie about a rural Hispanic family in America to be shown to government organizations. From this, And Now, Miguel was created. The two young boys in the movie are based upon real-life characters, the Chavez boys. The first film, in black and white, was 62 minutes in length. The movie was remade in 1966 for public distribution.
Krumgold was one of the few people to win two Newbery medals. His first was given for And Now, Miguel in 1954. Onion John won the medal in 1960. His competition for those medals was fierce, with books by authors we remember more easily today such as Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain.
In total, he wrote only five books for children. The other three were Sweeney’s Adventure (a film adaption), The Terrible Turk, and Henry 3.
Mr. Krumgold died in 1980, at the age of 72.