Raymond Briggs, the renowned writer and illustrator who pleased children and inspired adults with bestselling cartoons and picture books, passed away on Tuesday. He was best known for “The Snowman.” Read on to know how did Raymond Briggs die and the cause of his death.
Raymond Briggs was known as a versatile man who gave birth to the magic of The Snowman and also to the devastating apocalypse in When the Wind Blows. Some of his other notable works include Father Christmas, Fungs the Bogeyman, and Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age.
Briggs created a series of much-loved characters that fans will forever remember. He filled colors to numerous households across the world. His career spanning over six decades bagged him a number of awards, television adaptations, and extensive fame.
How did Raymond Briggs die?
Raymond Briggs died on Tuesday, August 9, at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, UK. His publisher Penguin Random House announced the tragic news of his passing with a statement from his family.
“We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news. Drawings from fans – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio,” the statement reads.
“He lived a rich and full life and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean, and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.”
The family’s statement continued to reflect on Brigg’s “love of nature” and “sense of fun and craziness”.
“He played practical jokes and enjoyed them being played on him,” it read. “All of us close to him knew his irreverent humour – this could be biting in his work when it came to those in power. He liked the Guardian editorial describing himself as an ‘iconoclastic national treasure’.”
“His family would like to thank all of the team on Overton Ward at Royal Sussex County Hospital for their kind and thoughtful care of Raymond in his final weeks,” the statement concluded.
What was Raymond Briggs’ cause of death?
Raymond Briggs passed away at the age of 88 years due to pneumonia. It is an inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the alveoli. The symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty in breathing.
Briggs was getting treatment for the disease at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. However, his body couldn’t cope and the beloved author and illustrator passed away on Tuesday.
Raymond Briggs had a glorious Writing/ Illustration Career
Briggs attended the Wimbledon School of Art to study painting and the Central School of Art to study typography. He a National Service conscript in the Royal Corps of Signals at Catterick from 1953 to 1955.
After that, he returned to study painting at Slade School of Fine Art and became a professional illustrator. He started by working on children’s books. Briggs illustrated Peter and the Piskies: Cornish Fold and Fairy Tales in 1958.
In 1961, Briggs began teaching illustration part-time at Brighton School of Art and continued till 1986. Chris Riddell was one of his students. In 1964, Briggs was chosen as the runner-up for the Kate Greenaway Medal for Fee Fi Fo Fum (a collection of nursery rhymes).
He went on to win the prestigious award in 1966 for illustrating a Hamilton edition of Mother Goose. Briggs won the Medal the second time for Father Christmas in 1973. After that, he created Fungus the Bogeyman.
He created his most popular masterpiece that we remember every year on Christmas “The Snowman” in 1978. The Snowman was later turned into a Bafta TV award-winning animated TV film in 1982. This gave Briggs an insane amount of name and fame.
Father Christmas also got a television in 1991 and Fungus the Bogeyman was televised in 2004 and 2015. Meanwhile, Briggs turned away from fantasy and turned his attention to real-world affairs.
He wrote “When the Wind Blows” which tackles the nuclear war and “The Tin-Pot Foreign General and the Old Iron Woman.” He also wrote an account of his parent’s marriage titled “Ethel & Ernest.”
Briggs’ final book “Time for Lights Out” was published in November 2019. With the book, he looked death in the face and imagined future ghosts roaming around his house in Sussex.
Raymond Briggs Bagged Numerous Awards & Medals
His graphic novel Ethel & Ernest won Best Illustrated Book in the 1999 British Book Awards. It was turned into a hand-drawn animated film in 2016.
Briggs became the first person to be inducted into the British Comic Awards Hall of Fame in 2012. He also received the Phoneix Picture Book Award from the Children’s Literature Association for 1994’s Bear in 2014.
Raymond Briggs had a Sad Life at the End
Despite having a glorious career, Raymond Briggs lived a lonely and sad life towards the end. His wife Jean suffered from schizophrenia and passed away from Leukaemia in 1973. It was two years after his parent’s death.
Raymond and Jean didn’t have any children. After that, he lived in a small house in Westmeston, Sussex with his long-term partner Liz. She died in October 2015 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Briggs continued to write and illustrate books through all the hardships. Eventually, he passed away this Tuesday. He is survived by his step-daughter Clare and her husband Fynn; his step-son Tom and his wife Sarah, and his step-grandchildren: Connie, Tilly, and Miles.
Our heart goes out to the writer who delighted countless children across the world. May God let the departed soul rest in peace.