Patricia McKissack, well-known American children’s author and recipient—with co-author and husband, Frederick McKissack— of the 1998 Regina Medal, died on April 7, 2017 at the age of 72.
McKissack and her husband, Fredrick McKissack, wrote and published more than 100 books together, contributing to the diversity of characters and places in children’s literature, by publishing stories with African American characters and a focus on African American history. Besides the Catholic Library Association’s Regina Medal, they received a Newbery Honor, nine Coretta Scott King author and honor awards, an NAACP Image Award, and in 2014, a Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Patricia McKissack’s The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural received a Newbery Honor and the King Author Award in 1993. Other titles by McKissack include Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?, a 1993 Horn Book Award runner-up, A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter (1990), and many others.
McKissack was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 2013.
The Regina Medal is a literary award conferred annually by the Catholic Library Association. It recognizes a living person for "continued, distinguished contribution to children's literature without regard to the nature of the contribution.” It was inaugurated in 1959 and it is administered by Children's Library Services Section.