Leo Dillon, one half of the award-winning Dillon & Dillon illustrators' team, has died

Leo Dillon who with Diane, his wife of 55 years, won multiple awards for their collaborative illustrations, has died.

The Dillons met at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in NY and became instant, fierce competitors. Ms. Dillon said their marriage was a 'survival mechanism to keep us from killing each other.' They attributed the success of their artistic sharing to the presence of It who helped wed their two styles.

The couple won multiple awards, including two back-to-back Caldecotts. When they won the 1976 Caldecott for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Folktale, Mr. Dillon, of Trinidadian descent, became the first African American to win that award. The very next year, the Dillons won the Caldecott again, this time for Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions.

Their ouuvre of children's literature illustrations accompanied an equally significant reputation as illustrators of science fiction covers. Five years before their first Caldecott, they captured the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artists.