Ian Falconer’s cause of death was announced by his agent and lawyer, Conrad Rippy, who said the cause was kidney failure.
He was the creator of the series ‘Olivia’ and died on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 in Norwalk, Connecticut, at the age of 63.
Ian Falconer had a successful career drawing covers for The New Yorker and designing opera sets alongside David Hockney.
He turned “Olivia,” a children’s book about a rowdy little pig that became a publishing sensation, from a character he first created as a Christmas present for a niece.
In 2000, Falconer hit the children’s book jackpot with the Olivia series, which was named a Caldecott Honor Book and has remained on The New York Times Children’s Book Best Seller list for nearly 107 weeks.
For his latest children’s book, to be published in 2022, Falconer changed species. It was called “Two Dogs,” and it portrayed the story of Perry and Augie, twin dachshunds who one day run away from their home while their homeowners are at work and wreak havoc outside, but manage to escape the blame.
Mr Falconer was asked in a 2012 interview what ingredient makes a good children’s book.
He said, “If I had to say one thing it would be don’t underestimate your audience, kids will figure things out; it is what they are good at: putting the world in order.”
The Early Life of Ian Falconer
Ian Woodward Falconer was born on August 25, 1959 in Ridgefield, Connecticut, to Alexandra and Bruce Falconer.
Falconer’s father worked as an architect, while his mother co-owned a gourmet food store, taught art, and ran a sailing school.
He grew up in Connecticut and attended the Cambridge School of Weston in Massachusetts for high school.
He studied art history at New York University for two years, then drawing at New York’s Parsons School of Design before transferring to the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.
On the west coast, Falconer began working with David Hockney, a well-known artist and set designer who was also his love partner for a while.
In the second volume of his Hockney biography, Christopher Simon Sykes quotes Mr. Falconer as saying that he would often be awakened in the night by Mr. Hockney, and “then you would probably hear his Picasso lecture for the 85th time.”
Among their high-profile partnerships was a 1992 San Francisco Opera and the staging of Puccini’s “Turandot” for the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In the mid-1990s, Mr. Falconer returned to the East Coast, staying in New York and continuing to take theater jobs while still working as an artist.
His first of 30 New Yorker covers appeared in July 1996.