Eleanor Coerr

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Children's Author
Date of Birth May 29, 1922
Place of Birth Canada
Date of Death Nov 22, 2010 (88)
Horoscope Gemini

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Eleanor Coerr was a Canadian-born American writer of children's books, including Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and many picture books. She was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada, and raised in Saskatoon. As a child, she liked to think up and read new stories. Through her best friend in high school, who was born to Japanese immigrants, Coerr developed an interest in calligraphy, Japanese food, and origami. She was exposed to Japanese scenery and told her friend that she wished to visit Japan one day, a request which Coerr fulfilled during the writing of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. She attended the University of Saskatchewan, later transferring to the Kadel Airbrush School. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from American University, and a master's degree in library science from the University of Maryland. After graduation, Coerr worked as a newspaper reporter and editor of a children's column.

Born: Eleanor Page, May 29, 1922, Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: November 22, 2010, New York City, New York, USA
Occupation: Writer
Period: 1945–2010
Genre: Children's literature, picture books
Notable works: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Spouse: Wymberley DeRenne Coerr, (m. 1965–1996)

About Eleanor Coerr

The author of the acclaimed children's historical fiction book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (1977), Coerr also penned Sam the Minuteman (1995); Josefina Story Quilt (2006); Biography of a Kangaroo (1976); and many other children's novels and picture books.

Before Fame

After earning an undergraduate degree in English from American University, she obtained a master's in library science from the University of Maryland and subsequently worked as a journalist, newspaper editor, and creative writing teacher. She published her first children's book, Twenty-five Dragons, in 1971.


Her Japanese childhood best friend inspired her enduring interest in Japanese culture and history, which, in turn, eventually led her to write her most famous literary work.

Family Life

She was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. During her three-decade marriage to diplomat Wymberly De Renne Coerr (which ended with his death in 1996), she lived in the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, Taiwan, the United States, and Japan.


She authored a 1976 young adult work about the famous primatologist Jane Goodall.

Information related to Eleanor Coerr

  • Chapman University faculty
  • Writers from Saskatchewan
  • Canadian children's writers
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Latest information about Eleanor Coerr updated on November 28, 2020.

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