Author, Playwright. He is best remembered for his "Winnie the Pooh" series of books. Born Alan Alexander Milne, he was the third of three sons born to John Vine and Sarah Maria Milne, both schoolteachers. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to London, and after initial schooling at Henley House School, he won a scholarship to Westminster School in 1893. In 1900, he progressed to Trinity College in Cambridge where he became the editor of "Granta" an undergrad magazine. His work in "Granta" led to an offer to work for the British humor magazine "Punch," and following graduation in 1904, he became Assistant Editor of "Punch" magazine after just two years, one of the youngest editors on the magazine staff. He wrote a number of plays, and as each was mildly successful, he was able to write freely without editorial supervision or public demand, although that would change after the Pooh books. On June 24, 1913, he married Daphne de Selincourt; they would have only one child, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. When World War I broke out in 1914, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Warwickshire Regiment, and served in France until he developed trench fever and was sent back to England for the remainder of the war. During the 1920s, his writing continued to meet with success, and in 1925, he wrote, "When we were very Young," a book for the child in all of us. His intended audience was not just children, but also adults. He used his son, Christopher Robin, and several of his son's stuffed animals, those stuffed animals of a friend of his son, and his imagination to create the adventures of a young boy, Christopher Robin, and his bear, Winnie the Pooh. In the next four years, Milne would write four Pooh books, and each turned into runaway best sellers. Despite his refusal in 1929 to write another Pooh book, over the next 60 years, the four Pooh books would be translated into virtually every language in the world, and sell over 70 million copies. Milne also wrote over 25 plays, most of them successful, but it is his "Toad of Toad Hall" (1929), an adaptation of author Kenneth Grahame's novel, "The Wind in the Willows," that is most often remembered. Due to his war experiences, he would support appeasement during the 1930s, and in 1934, he wrote a denunciation of war, "Peace With Honour." With the rise of Hitler and Nazism, he changed his mind about war, and in 1940, wrote "War With Honour" a rationalization that war is sometimes necessary. In 1952, Milne underwent an operation on his brain, which left him an invalid, and he spent the remainder of his life at his home at Cotchford Farm, in Sussex, where he mostly became an avid reader. He died four years later after a lingering illness. Following his death, his wife, Daphne, sold the rights to the Pooh character to the Walt Disney Corporation. To preserve family privacy, she also destroyed all of her husband's papers.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
"When I am gone
Let Shepard decorate my tomb,
And put (if there is room)
Two pictures on the stone:
Piglet from page a hundred and eleven,
And Pooh and Piglet walking (157) ...
And Peter, thinking that they are my own,
Will welcome me to Heaven"