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Catherine Woolley (1904–2005) Biography

(Jane Thayer)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born August 11, 1904, in Chicago, IL; died July 23, 2005, in Truro, MA. Author. Woolley was a prolific author of children's books written under her name and the pseudonym Jane Thayer. A 1927 graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, she worked as an advertising copywriter and freelance writer in New York City during the late 1920s and early 1930s. From 1933 to 1940, she was a copywriter and worked in publicity for the American Radiator & Standard Corporation. She found a job as a desk editor for the Architectural Record and as a production editor for the Society of Automotive Engineers Journal in the early 1940s. By the time Woolley had advanced to the position of public relations writer for the National Association of Manufacturers in New York City, she had also begun writing and publishing children's books. Her debut, I Like Trains, was released in 1944. The author went on to pen over eighty books, and she was so prolific that her editor suggested she publish some of her works under a pen name. Woolley wrote picture books under the name of Thayer, while her books for older children were published under her own name. She left her public relations job in 1947 to concentrate full time on writing, though she occasionally taught classes and led writing workshops. Included among her many books under her own name are the "Ginny" and "Cathy" series, and, as Thayer, such books as Sandy and the Seventeen Balloons (1955), Quiet on Account of Dinosaur (1964), and Mr. Turtle's Magic Glasses (1971). Her last book for children is The Popcorn Dragon (1989). This was followed by the nonfiction title Writing for Children (1989). Woolley was honored by her hometown in 1996 when the Truro library named its children's reading room after her.



Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2005, p. B11.

New York Times, July 28, 2005, p. C19.

Washington Post, July 30, 2005, p. B6.

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