Donald Sobol, creator of beloved children's character, Encyclopedia Brown, has died

Donald Sobol, who created Encyclopedia Brown, one of the most beloved of classic children's characters, died today.

Sobol's writing career began as a copyboy and then reporter for the New York Sun newspaper back in the 50s. In 1963, he published the first Encyclopedia Brown book, Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective. In each of the 39 books in the series, Leroy (a.k.a. Encyclopedia) Brown, is a 10-year old genius. The format for each book is that Brown faces ten mysteries. The reader is given a chance to solve the mystery, before consulting with the answers in the back of the book.

This formula has worked for nearly 40 years. In 1997, Sobol updated Brown's wardrobe, dressing him out in a work shirt and jeans in Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablo's Nose. Six years later, Sobol marked Brown's 40th anniversary with the release of Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Jumping Frogs.

Sobol also penned a popular syndicated newspaper feature, his Two-Minute Mysteries.

Mr. Sobol's death (he was 87) immediately began trending on Twitter as news spread and fans of all ages mourned his passing with tender tributes about what their books meant to them.


WHAT?! My brother LOVED that series! I wish he was still here so I could tell that he was a FAN of his books!! He deserves a round of applause for such great work (not to mention, a moment of silence).

i agree. i loved reading that series and still do. rip

This is so sad. He was an amazing children's author.

I loved the book two minute mysteries!

I loved Encyclopedia Brown. RIP Donald Sobol. :(

I had no idea the series began so long ago. So sad

so sad