Cleary was born as Beverly Atlee Bunn on April 12, 1916, in McMinnville, Oregon. She was an only child who lived on a rural farm, the daughter of a schoolteacher mother and farmer father.
After beginning her career as a librarian in 1939, Cleary began writing children's books in 1942.
That was a good career move as it turns out, since Cleary has spent nearly 70 years as one of the most beloved authors in the world.
Beginning with her first book, Henry Huggins, in 1950, and continuing on through books covering characters like Beezus, Ramona, Ribsy, Motorcycle Ralph, and many others, Cleary has entertained millions and millions of readers over the years.
Her birthday is now celebrated all across the United States as a "Drop Everything and Read," or D.E.A.R. Day.