Virginia Hamilton Biography

Virginia Esther Hamilton (March 12, 1934 – February 19, 2002) was an African-American author of children's books. She wrote 41 books, including M. C. Higgins, the Great, for which she won the U.S. National Book Award in category Children's Books and the Newbery Medal in 1975.

Named for her grandfather's home state, Virginia Hamilton grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She attended Antioch College and then transferred to Ohio State University. She married the poet Arnold Adoff in 1960.

Hamilton's first book, as a child was "The Novel". In 1967, she published Zeely. Over the course of her career, Hamilton won numerous awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Virginia Hamilton died of breast cancer on February 19, 2002. Three books have been published posthumously: Time Pieces, Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl, and Wee Winnie Witch's Skinny.

The Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth has been held at Kent State University each year since 1984.

She died of breast cancer in 2002.