Author and Illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman has died at the age of 88, his family confirmed.
Issuing a statement on Wednesday, his family said: “We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news.”
They continued to say “He lived a rich and full life and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.
“He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and craziness with his family, and his family of artist friends.”
Tributes have poured in for the late illustrator, with Rob Biddulph, a best selling author and illustrator, taking to twitter to say: “Oh no. Not Raymond Briggs. A titan in our industry and a true one-off.
“The Snowman was a work of undeniable genius - a game changer, not just in the world of children’s books, but in books full stop. Thank you for inspiring me Mr Briggs. RIP.”
His most notable work, The Snowman was first released as a picture book in 1978, and was turned into an animation in 1982 after selling 5.5 million copies.
The show was then made for Channel 4 and is now a staple on the channel around Christmas time, played alongside Elf, Polar Express and more.
Speaking of how The Snowman was initially created, Briggs previously said: “I remember that winter because it had brought the heaviest snow I had ever seen.
“Snow had fallen steadily all night long and in the morning I woke in a room filled with light and silence, the whole world seemed to be held in a dream-like stillness.
“It was a magical day…and it was on that day I made The Snowman.”