PORTLAND, Ore. — Beverly Cleary, the renowned children's author whose books were read by children around the world, died Thursday at the age 104. Cleary, who was born in McMinnville and grew up in Portland, wrote more than 40 books and her characters, from Henry Huggins to Ramona and Beezus Quimby, struck a cord with children in a way previous authors had not been able to.
In the hours after Cleary's death was announced Friday, many people shared their personal stories about that unique connection they felt to Cleary and her work.
Jill Biden, first lady of the United States and a longtime educator, tweeted, "RIP Beverly Cleary. Millions of girls saw themselves in Ramona Quimby. Thank you from all the 'pests' out there."
Cleary moved to Portland when she was 6. She attended Fernwood and Gregory Heights grade schools and Grant High School, where a nearby park features a sculpture garden of the characters she created.
Admirers, after hearing news of Cleary's death, put flowers in the hand of the Ramona Quimby statue at Grant Park late Friday afternoon.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer shared photos of himself with the landmark statues.
The aforementioned Fernwood Grammar School, where Cleary attended grade school, has since been renamed after the beloved author. Portland Public Schools said Cleary's work will continue to impact future students, much like it has already influenced generations before them.
The tributes, from Portland to Oregon to across the country, continued to pour in throughout Friday afternoon as people reflected on Cleary's death and the legacy she leaves behind.
In KGW file video below, watch as Cleary walks around the Northeast Portland neighborhood that inspired her characters and locales.