Thomas Sterling North (November 4, 1906 – December 22, 1974) was an American author of books for children and adults, including RASCAL, a best-seller in 1963.
He was born in 1906 in a pleasant little farmhouse on the shores of Lake Koshkonong, the second largest lake in Wisconsin, and grew up in the nearby town of Edgerton.
After graduating from Edgerton High School, he earned his way through the University of Chicago and began his writing career. He wrote for The Chicago Daily News, The New York World-Telegram and Sun, and for many magazines, including Reader’s Digest, The Atlantic, Esquire, and Holiday.
In 1947, he completed SO DEAR TO MY HEART the best seller that established him as one of America’s favorite novelists. It was translated into 26 languages and charmed motion picture audiences everywhere when it was filmed by Walt Disney.
RASCAL, an autobiographical story about raising a raccoon, was published in 1963 and immediately captured the hearts of both young and old. More than 2 1/2 million copies have been sold. The story was translated into 18 other languages and was made into a film by Walt Disney for release in 1969.
The true story of the author’s boyhood, when he takes in a mischievous, endearing raccoon that he names Rascal. “Rascal is the most captivating creature imaginable.” —The Chicago Tribune
Six years later, North’s final book, THE WOLFLING was published. He tells the story of Robbie and the wild wolf pup he raises in the 1870’s in rural Wisconsin. Sterling wrote over 30 books.
Later in life, Sterling suffered from several strokes. He typed THE WOLFLING with only one finger. Sterling North died on December 22, 1974 at the age of 68 years old. He is buried in Morristown, New Jersey.
Sterling North Home and Museum
In the 1990s, North’s childhood home at 409 West Rollin Street, Edgerton, Wisconsin was restored to its 1917 appearance by the Sterling North Society and transformed into a museum.
Money for the sign in front of the house was collected by the school children of Rock County, the Edgerton Area Chamber of Commerce, and friends of Sterling North.