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‘The day I take myself seriously will be my last’: French illustrator Tomi Ungerer dies at 87

Thousands of illustrations, bound together in more than 140 books and translated into 30 languages. Works like 'The Three Robbers' and 'The Moon Man' have marked entire generations. "He was a great humanist. He had bags of optimism and he was extraordinarily direct and open." Born in Strasbourg in 1931, his childhood was marked by two traumas: the death of his father and the annexation of his native Alsace by the Nazis. His headmaster once called him "a wilfully perverse and subversive individualist". As an author, he regularly used the theme of cruelty to make children better equipped to deal with life. He left for the US when he was 25 years old. There, he experimented with all kinds of media to create not just cartoons but also erotic drawings and political posters. Awarded the Legion of Honour by France in 1990, he was elevated to a Commander of the Legion of Honour just last year.

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