Born on May 15, 1937, Paul Zindel is thought of today as one of the founders of the young adult literary genre.
Born and raised on Staten Island, New York, he graduated from Wagner College and taught high school chemistry on the Island. When his play, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971, he launched a writing career that included The Pigman (1968) and books for young children, middle grade readers, and young adults. In 2002, he was awarded the ALA’s Margaret A. Edwards Award for his body of work.
Asked why he wrote for young people, he said, “Writing lets me be a kid again and again and again. That inspires me.”
Mr. Zindel died of cancer on March 27, 2003.