Carolyn Haywood was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 3, 1898. She graduated from the Philadelphia Normal School for Girls and taught for one year before attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She studied with Elizabeth Shippen Green, Jessie Wilcox Smith, and served as studio assistant for Violet Oakley, renowned muralist. Haywood herself painted murals in banks and schools throughout Philadelphia, where they can still be viewed today.
“During this time I was becoming more and more interested in children’s books and eventually, through my interest in illustration, I found my way to Harcourt where Elizabeth Hamilton was editor of their juvenile department. She encouraged me to write something about little American children doing the things that little American children like to do.”
Her first children’s book, When I Grow Up, was published in 1931, but in 1939 she hit her stride with the first of the Betsy and Eddie books, “B” is for Betsy. She wrote about the childhood adventures of these two for more than fifty years. She stopped illustrating her own books in the 1970s.
Ms. Haywood died on January 11, 1990.