Robert Cormier Cause of Death: Author Of Enduring Books for Teenagers Dies At 77

On Thursday, Robert E. Cormier passed away. He wrote 18 books for young adults, many of which were challenging and well regarded by critics. He was a 75-year-old resident of Leominster, Massachusetts.

Chris Cormier Hayes, the daughter, claimed the cause of death was complications from a blood clot.

Mr. Cormier was regularly attacked by persons and organizations upset by his harsh realism, despite the fact that some of his works were translated into more than a dozen languages and three were adapted into movies.

Robert E. Cormier Death

For instance, in his 1974 book “The Chocolate War,” Mr. Cormier recounted the uproar that ensued after a youngster refused to take part in a chocolate-themed fund-raising event at a New England prep school.

Years later, Mr. Cormier was questioned in an interview for The New York Times Book Review if he was ”sending a depressing message that even savvy teenagers can’t possibly outwit or buck ‘the system.’ ”

Mr. Cormier replied, ”They can buck it, but they can’t beat it.” He added that the terrible thing was not to try.

Robert Cormier Cause of Death
Robert Cormier Cause of Death

Mr. Cormier also said, “I wouldn’t go through high school again for all the money in the world,” referring to the manipulations and agonies of adolescence.

“The Chocolate War” was praised by critics. The novelist Theodore Weesner praised it as “masterfully constructed and rich in the concept” in an article for The New York Times Book Review.

Mr. Cormier was born on January 17, 1925, in Leominster. He completed elementary school at St. Cecilia’s in 1938 and high school at Leominster High in 1942. He spent 1943 and 1944 as a student at Fitchburg State College, where he served as class president.

Mr. Cormier started writing when he was 12 years old, and The Leominster Daily Enterprise published his first poetry not long after. The Sign, a national Catholic magazine, published his first story, titled “The Little Things That Count.”

After graduating from college in 1948, he immediately began a career as a journalist, first for The Worcester Telegram and later for The Fitchburg Sentinel. Mr. Cormier’s journalistic stories won him several accolades, but in 1978 he decided to devote himself full-time to writing instead.

Mr. Cormier’s reputation as a master of books for young adults was cemented by the success of his earliest works, including “Now and at the Hour” (1960) and “A Little Raw on Monday Mornings” (1963), both of which were widely praised by critics.

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