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"Clifford" Creator Honored By Hoosier Hometown

Last updated on Monday, February 16, 2009

(KOKOMO) - Almost everyone can tell you that Garfield creator Jim Davis is a Hoosier, but what about the pen behind Clifford the Big Red Dog?

Clifford creator Norman Bridwell was celebrated in his hometown of Kokomo, Indiana Sunday, the day of his 83rd birthday. Bridwell was born and raised in Kokomo and went to the Herron School of Art before moving to New York to make a living as an artist.

Bridwell says Clifford came about at a time when he was unemployed trying to find work as an illustrator for children's books. An editor suggested he put his own story to his illustrations and thus Clifford was born.

Bridwell says he is amazed at how big Clifford has become over the years.

Bridwell's life and heritage was celebrated at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library with cake, punch and several readings of Clifford stories.

The city of Kokomo also unveiled highway signs showing Kokomo as the home of Bridwell. The signs will be posted on US 31 at the city limits.

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