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de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi

Creator: Donald J. Sobol
Title: Donald J. Sobol Papers
Dates: 1965
Quantity: .30 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: DG0914

Abstract: Donald J. Sobol was the author of dozens of fiction and nonfiction books for intermediate and adult readers, but he was best-known as the creator of the popular Encyclopedia Brown mystery book series for young readers. The Donald J. Sobol Papers contains a typescript and a galley for Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (1965).

Biographical Note

Donald J. Sobol was born in New York City on October 4, 1924, to Ira and Ida Sobol. After serving with the engineer corps in the Pacific during World War II, Sobol earned a B.A. degree from Oberlin College. He first considered becoming a writer while taking a short-story writing course there. Sobol worked as a copy boy for the New York Sun and later worked as a journalist for the Sun and the Long Island Daily News. At age thirty he made two important decisions: he quit his job to devote himself to writing full time, and he married Rose Tiplitz, with whom he eventually had four children. Sobol's first Encyclopedia Brown book was rejected by twenty­ six publishers before being accepted by Thomas Nelson, but the short mystery stories caught on with young readers and the series now includes more than twenty titles translated into multiple languages and a variety of media forms.

In addition to the award-winning Encyclopedia Brown series, Sobol wrote "Two Minute Mystery Series," a nationally syndicated newspaper feature during the 1960s. He also wrote many other works for both intermediate and adult readers on topics ranging from history to business and finance. Donald J. Sobol died of cancer in July 2012. The last book in the Encyclopedia Brown series penned by Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme, was published in October 2012, three months after his death.

Something About the Author, ed. Anne Commire (Detroit: Gale Research, 1983), 31: 157-58
Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, ed. Laurie Collier and Joyce Nakamura (Detroit: Gale Research, 1993), 5: 2171-4

Scope and Content Note

The Donald J. Sobol Papers contain a typescript and a galley for Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (1965).

Series and Subseries

A. Book (1965)  

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (1965)



Restrictions on Use

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Donald J. Sobol Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, (cite the item's box/folder numbers).


These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Donald J. Sobol in 1966.

Processing Information

Processed by C. Alder, June 2003. This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Container Listing



Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch by Donald J. Sobol, illustrations by Leonard Shortall (New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1965)

Carbon copy of typescript for front matter, chapters 1-10, and solutions to the mysteries, lightly edited, 66 pp.


Galley for chapters 1-10, edited, 27 pp.




The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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