Margaret McElderry

1912 - 

Editor & Librarian


Margaret McElderry
Margaret K. McElderry is one of the legends of children's book publishing.  As an editor she has greatly influenced the development of children's literature.  She began her professional career as a librarian.  She trained at the Carnegie Library School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Upon completing the training program, she worked under Anne Carroll Moore for nine years at the New York Public Library.  Then in 1945, she moved to the publishing realm where she became the head of the juvenile department at Harcourt, Brace and Company.  She was the first publisher to have books that she published win both the Caldecott and the Newbery  Awards' in the same year (Finders' Keepers by Eleanor Estes won the 1952 Caldecott Award while Ginger Pye by Will Lipkind won the 1952 Newbery Award).  In 1971, she moved to Atheneum to become the Director of Margaret K. McElderry Books.  As a result of the move, she was also the first editor of children's books to be given her own imprint.  

Photograph from LC Information Bulletin

  • Received Constance Lindsay Skinner Award
  • Received an Honorary Doctorate from Mt. Holyoke College
  • Received a lifetime Honorary Membership in IBBY
  • Received the Literary Market Place Corporate Award
  • Received the Hope S. Dean Memorial Award by the Foundation for Children's Books
  • Elected into the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers
  • Delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture
  • Received the Curtis Benjamin Award for Creative Publishing, Association of American Publishers
  • Received the Northern California Children's Booksellers Association Otter Award
  • Hearne, B. (1996, Spring). Margaret K. McElderry and the professional matriarchy of children's books. Library Trends, 44 (4), 755-775.
  • Smith, M. (1998, August). Between writer and editor: Children's literature program focuses on collaboration. LC Information Bulletin. Retrieved May 6, 2002 from

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Last Modified: May 6, 2002