New Jersey Hall of Famer author Judy Blume celebrated her 83rd birthday this week. Judy is famous for writing children’s and young adult books that were the mainstay for many of us growing up.

Judy was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey and graduated from New York University in 1961. As a housewife she began to entertain herself by writing books. Some of her most popular books include Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Blubber just to name a few.

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She tackled subject matter in some of her novels that some found taboo in targeting young adults with subject matter covering teen sex, birth control and death. Most found it enlightening and helpful. Her books were loved by so many, she sold over 82 million copies of her novels and her books have been translated into 32 different languages. She’s been recognized by the Library of Congress as a Living Legend and received many awards and accolades for her writing.

I had the chance to meet Judy when she was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2010. I found her delightful and interesting and she possessed an energy that was amazing and contagious. I asked her if she had any regrets and she said that she wished she would have written more and had the time to read more, this from a woman that’s written so many.

Judy is true to her profession in becoming an activist against the banning of books here in the United States. In the 1960s when there were frequent accounts of censorship and banning of books, she reached out to other authors to stop that controversy. Happy Birthday Judy Blume, thank you for your contributions to society and we’re proud to call you New Jersey’s own.

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