Joseph Krumgold

Joseph Quincy Krumgold (April 9, 1908 – July 10, 1980) was an American writer of books and screenplays. He was the first person to win two annual Newbery Medals for the most distinguished new American children's book.[lower-alpha 1]


Krumgold was born in 1908 in Jersey City, New Jersey in a Jewish family,[1] and was immersed in the world of movies from a young age: his father, Henry, operated movie theatres.

He graduated from New York University, and worked for MGM as a scriptwriter. He married Helen Litwin in 1947; they had one son, Adam, and lived in Greenwich Village, and Hope Township, New Jersey.[2]

He was hired by the United States Department of State to make a film about Hispanic workers in rural America. The film was created in 1953, and shares a title with Krumgold's first Newbery Award-winning novel, ...And Now Miguel.

Six years later, Krumgold won the Newbery Medal again for Onion John, a story about an eccentric immigrant in small-town New Jersey. It was named to the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award list in 1960.

Krumgold traveled extensively throughout the world, living in several places including California, Paris, and Rome. From 1947 to 1951, he lived and worked in Israel making movies that marked the founding of modern-day Israel.

He died on July 10, 1980 at the age of 72 at his home in Hope Township.[3]

Other works

Although Krumgold is probably remembered most for the two Newbery winners, he also wrote other novels and movie scripts.

  • Seven Miles from Alcatraz, a 1942 movie
  • Dream No More, a 1953 movie
  • The Autobiography of a Jeep, a film produced in 1943 for the United States Office of War Information
  • Henry 3, a children's novel published in 1967
  • The Most Terrible Turk: A Story of Turkey, a children's novel published in 1969
  • Sweeney's Adventure, a children's novel published in 1942
  • Thanks to Murder, an adult novel published in 1935 by the Vanguard Press


  1. As of 2013 four other writers have won two Newbery Medals: in chronological order, Elizabeth George Speare, Katherine Paterson, Lois Lowry, and E. L. Konigsburg.


  1. Contemporary authors, Vol. 9–12, Gale Research Co., 1974, p. 477.
  2. Newbery Medal Books: 1922–1955, eds. Bertha Mahony Miller, Elinor Whitney Field, Horn Book, 1955, LOC 55-13968, pp. 407–11.
  3. Staff. "Joseph Krumgold, Screenwriter And Author of Children's Books", The New York Times, July 16, 1980. Accessed April 29, 2015. "Joseph Krumgold, a screenwriter and author of children's books, died of a stroke July 10 at his home in Hope, N.J. He was 72 years old."
  • "Joseph Krumgold". Internet Book List. Retrieved 2006-06-18.
  • "Joseph Krumgold". Children's Literature Network. Retrieved 2006-06-18.
  • "Autobiography of a Jeep". University of San Diego History Department. Archived from the original on 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2006-06-18.
  • Joseph Krumgold on IMDb
  • Joseph Krumgold at Library of Congress Authorities, with 13 catalog records
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