Born on November 26, 1901, Doris Gates grew up in Mountain View, California on a ranch with all sorts of animals. She attended Fresno State Teachers College, Los Angeles Library School, and Western Reserve University. Ms. Gates worked as a children’s librarian at the Fresno County Library from 1930 to 1940.
It was the time of the Great Depression, and she worked among the families in the migrant camps, getting to know and observing the children. This experience was the inspiration for her book Blue Willow which won a Newbery Honor award in 1941. She is also well-known for her re-tellings of myths and legends.
Ms. Gates died in 1987.
Today, there is a Doris Gates Room for children through age 14 at the Central Library of the Fresno Public Library system.