Lilian Jackson Braun was born Lilian Jackson on June 20, 1913, at Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, to Charles Jackson and Clara Ward Jackson. Braun’s parents had emigrated from northern England to the United States, where her father made tools for factory machines. During Braun’s childhood, several of her father’s coworkers boarded in her parents’ Springfield, Massachusetts, home. Braun was an only child until she was nine, when her brother, Lloyd, was born, followed by the birth of her sister, Florence.
During the 1920’s, the Jackson family moved from Massachusetts to Detroit, Michigan, where Charles Jackson secured employment as a toolmaker with a motor company. Braun later credited her father’s inventiveness and her mother’s imagination for shaping her storytelling skills. At dinner, Braun and her siblings were expected to provide detailed accounts describing their experiences at school.
As a girl, Braun read Sherlock Holmes mysteries and camped with her Girl Scout troop. A Detroit Tigers fan, she composed funny verses about baseball. When she was fifteen, Braun sold baseball poems, which she referred to as spoems, to the Detroit News. Using the pseudonym Ward Jackson, she contributed articles to The Sporting News and Baseball Magazine. Braun also wrote for her high school’s newspaper and literary magazine.
When Braun was sixteen years old, she graduated from high school. Although she wanted to earn a college degree to teach school, she instead sought employment...
(The entire section is 630 words.)