Born: August 15, 1915
Ohio connection: Birth
Brinton Cassaday Turkle was born on August 15, 1915, in Alliance, Ohio where a family friend, Gertrude Alice Kay, a children’s author and illustrator, encouraged his creative interests. Turkle showed an early inclination toward the theater, and entered the drama department at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1933-36). Deciding that opportunities in theater would be limited, he then began to develop his drawing ability and studied at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (1938-40). Turkle worked for several years in advertising before becoming an illustrator of children’s books, beginning with Timberline Treasure by Adrien Stoutenburg. Turkle had married Yvonne Foulston in l948, and the couple moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, that year. In 1959, Turkle moved to New York City to pursue his writing and illustrating career, and Obadiah the Bold was published in 1965. Turkle created 3 more stories about Obadiah, a precocious Quaker boy in early nineteenth century Nantucket; Thy Friend, Obadiah (1969) was a Caldecott Honor Book. In 1977, Turkle won the Ohioana Award for Deep in the Forest (1976), a wordless twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. He returned to Santa Fe in the 1970s and was active in local Quaker meetings. Continuing to illustrate his own and other authors’ writings, he also made many trips back to Ohio for programs at his hometown library. It was always his hope that he could impart to his readers an appreciation for integrity, mutual respect, kindness, and reverence for life. In 2001, he was honored by the state of New Mexico with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Turkle died in 2003.
Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for state of New Mexico, 2001.