I cannot recall a time in my life when I did not admire Maurice Sendak. His books were among the very first I read, and all these years later, I can recall the cadence to his words.
His sense of chaos and his artistry, his sweetness and sadness, these all influenced me deeply. I loved his ferocious spirit, and the unrepentant badness of his characters.
I had the very good fortune to work on a couple of his theater pieces. I have an autographed thank you note from Mr, Sendak (somewhere). I never met the man, because he suffered from chronic back pain and was unable to travel.