Elaine Konigsburg

February 10, 1930April 19, 2013

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg passed away on April 19, 2013.  She was a teacher, author and artist.  Her novels and illustrations delight children throughout the world.   E. L. Konigsburg was born February 10, 1930 to Adolph Lobl and Beulah Klein Lobl.  She grew up in Farrell, Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.  In 1952, she married David Konigsburg and moved to Jacksonville, Florida.  The family relocated several times during Dr. Konigsburg’s career, but eventually retuned to Jacksonville and settled at Ponte Vedra Beach.   When her youngest child started kindergarten, E. L. Konigsburg began to write and illustrate children’s books.  Her first novel, Jennifer, Hecate, McBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, was a Newbery honor book in 1968, and her second novel, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler , won the Newbery Medal in 1968.  She is the only author to be both winner and runner-up in the same year.  Her 13th novel, The View From Saturday, was awarded the 1997 Newbery Medal.   E. L Konigsburg wrote and painted throughout her life. She authored 16 children’s novels, illustrated 3 picture books, and published a collection of her speeches.  Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages and made into movies and plays.  Ingrid Bergman starred as Mrs. Frankweiler in a 1973 adaptation of her most famous book.  Father’s Arcane Daughter won the sweeps week ratings in 1990 as a Hallmark Hall of Fame special called Caroline.   She was a featured speaker at schools, universities, and libraries.  New York City and the Metropolitan Museum of Art never failed to inspire her.  Although she enjoyed meeting new people and seeing new places, she always looked forward to being home in Ponte Vedra Beach.  In fine weather, she would walk along the shore and search for shark’s teeth.   David Konigsburg passed away in August 2001.  He and Mrs. Konigsburg had been married for 49 years.  Her sister, Harriett Rosenberg, her brothers-in-law Leonard Konigsburg, Marvin Konigsburg, Leonard Rosenberg, and her sister-in-law Mae Konigsburg also predeceased her.   E. L. Konigsburg is survived by:  son Paul, his wife Lesley and their daughters, Anna and Meg; daughter Laurie, her husband Robert, son Sam, Sam’s wife Beth and their children Charlie and Garrett; son Ross and his daughters Amy and Sarah; sister Sherry and her husband Michael; brother-in-law Sidney Konigsburg; and sisters-in-law Shirley Konigsburg and Debby Konigsburg.  Many nephews, nieces and cousins also survive her.   E. L. Konigsburg was a true friend and a loving wife, sister, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.  She was generous with her time and talents.  She was fun.  Friends and family take comfort that her writing and art leave people throughout the world with a lasting connection to her.   Donations may be made to the American Heart Association or the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.


  • Funeral Service Monday, April 22, 2013

Elaine Konigsburg

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June 6, 2013

I can't believe I hadn't heard of Ms. Konigsburg's passing until now. I found the announcement because I was re-reading "From the Mixed-Up Files...", as I do almost yearly, and decided to Google her. At my age (well past 40), I am not at all embarrassed to say that I regularly revisit these favorite childhood books because Ms. Konigsburg understood that the best children's books are ones that can be appreciated at any age. My sympathies go out to her family - I hope they are comforted by the wonderful legacy she has left. I look forward to continuing the tradition and sharing her books with my toddler daughter as soon as she's old enough.

Mary Hatzikazakis

May 8, 2013

I just read about Mrs. Konigsburg's passing and wish to express my sympathy to her family and friends. I read The Mixed-up Files every year and have a wonderful quote from it on my teacher profile page. E.L.Konigsburg touched me as a teacher, a lover of great stories, and a fellow human being. May her memory be eternal!

Polly Anderson

April 30, 2013

We are reading "The Mixed-up Files" in class right now. I know my class will be moved to hear about Elaine's passing. I am so glad that she walked this Earth and left us with so many stories to treasure.

April 25, 2013

E.L. Konigsburg was my favorite author when I taught school. I read her books to my 6th grade class for years. My students would then check out her books and reread them! She was such a great story teller and her work will live on to delight her readers. Val Brewer (Crestview, Florida)

Sarah Prager

April 25, 2013

I read many of E.L. Konigsburg's books as a child, and just finished reading "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" to my daughter this past weekend. Her literary legacy is strong and will continue to live on.

April 23, 2013

Dear Paul, Leslie, Laurie, Robert, Ross, Sherry, and Michael,
Buzz, our "boys" and I were sad to hear of Elaine's passing. To me, more impressive than her amazing writing and artistic ability was the strength and dignity she exhibited after her first debilitating stroke. Undoubtedly, her kind and generous spirit will live on through her many works and through her children and grandchildren. Love, Mimi

Ron & Dianne Farb

April 23, 2013

We were so honored to be Elaine's next door neighbor and friend for many years. She was a warm, sweet, and a very inspirational woman, and will be missed.

Beth, Jeff and Kaila Stein

April 22, 2013

We send our deepest condolences to the entire family. I have been an admirer of Elaine's books since I was a child, and my daughter has enjoyed them, too. We were fortunate to meet her and talk to her and we know she will be greatly missed. She was an unbelievable talent and touched so many lives. To all the kids and relatives - and Aunt Sherry - please know how sorry we are. I truly wished we could have been there today. With our love,

Maxine Levine

April 22, 2013

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was, and still is, one of my favorite books from childhood.
When I visit museums now I still think of Claudia and Jamie sleeping on the beds in the history display.

Thank you for creating such a wonderful book for children to read at any age and in any time (I would have read it in the mid 90's). It is still on my bookshelf today and one day I will be happy to pass it on to my children.

Lyndsey Fronterhouse

April 22, 2013

"Mixed Up Files" is the first book I remember loving. Thanks, E.L. for inspiring a love of reading and words that have lasted me a lifetime. I am forever grateful.