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Judy Blume

Judy BlumeAKA Judith Sussman

Born: 12-Feb-1938
Birthplace: Elizabeth, NJ

Gender: Female
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Author
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Author of children's books

Judy Blume writes books for kids, but not "kiddie books". Her settings and characters are a lot like life, and she was the first children's author to successfully deal with real-world issues, like divorce (It's Not the End of the World) and menstruation (Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret). Forever tells of a teenaged boy and girl who fall in love and have sex. The book was groundbreaking when it came out in 1975, because the heroine didn't get pregnant, didn't get a sexually-transmitted disease, didn't get lectured by some sanctimonious authority figure, and didn't get punished in any way. She went on the pill, lost her virginity, and her life went on, just like it will for a hundred thousand teenagers this afternoon. Blume's Deenie, about a girl with scoliosis, has recently been optioned by Walt Disney Pictures. Disney and Deenie seem an odd couple, though. The book has been banned or hidden behind the librarian's desk in many school districts, because like many millions of girls in real life, Deenie masturbates.

As you might expect, though, Blume's books have constantly been controversial among those who believe in closed minds. She's argued eloquently against the book-burning mentality, and edited Places I Never Meant to Be, a collection of stories by censored authors.

Blume has written "picture books" for little kids, books generally aimed at grade-schoolers, books for adolescents and teenagers, and novels for adults. All told, her books have sold about 70,000,000 copies, and none of her titles have yet gone out of print, yet only three have been filmed -- all for television. Long before Remington Steele, Stephanie Zimbalist starred in a toned-down-for-TV version of Forever.

Father: Rudolph Sussman (dentist)
Mother: Esther Rosenfeld Sussman
Husband: John M. Blume (lawyer, m. 15-Aug-1959, div. 1976, one son, one daughter)
Daughter: Randy Lee Blume (pilot-author, Crazy in the Cockpit, b. 1961)
Son: Lawrence Andrew Blume (filmmaker, Martin & Orloff, b. 1963)
Husband: Thomas A. Kitchens (m. 1976, div. 1978)
Husband: George Cooper (author, Poison Widows, m. 1987)
Daughter: Amanda Cooper (stepdaughter)

    High School: Battin High School, Elizabeth, NJ
    University: New York University (1960)

    Bill Bradley for President
    The Creative Coalition Advisory Board
    Dean for America
    Friends of Hillary
    Hillary Rodham Clinton for US Senate Committee
    John Kerry for President
    Kerry Victory 2004
    Obama for America
    Library of Congress Living Legend 2000
    Risk Factors: Breast Cancer

Official Website:

Author of books:
Iggy's House (1970, novel, juvenile)
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970, novel, juvenile)
Then Again, Maybe I Won't (1971, novel, juvenile)
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972, novel, juvenile)
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (1972, novel, juvenile)
Deenie (1973, novel, juvenile)
Blubber (1974, novel, juvenile)
Forever (1976, novel, juvenile)
Wifey (1977, novel)
Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself (1977, novel, juvenile)
Superfudge (1980, novel, juvenile)
Smart Women (1984, novel)
Fudge-a-mania (1990, novel, juvenile)
Here's to You Rachel Robinson (1993, novel, juvenile)
Summer Sisters (1998, novel)

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