The author's tale of a snowman who comes to life was adapted into a film that became a British holiday classic.

Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs has died at the age of 88, The New York Times and the BBC report.

His death, in a hospital in Brighton, England, was confirmed by his publisher in Britain, Penguin Random House.

Briggs was best known for his 1978 book, The Snowman, about a snowman who comes to life and befriends a little boy. The book, which has sold more than 5.5 million copies, was adapted into an animated short that won a BAFTA award and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

Over time, Briggs would become synonymous with the tale in his native Britain thanks to the film's annual screening on television during the Christmas season, an event about which the author had mixed feelings.

"I was fed up with it years ago," Briggs told The Guardian in 2019. "I'm even more fed up with it now it's been going on for nearly 40 bloody years."

Raymond Briggs, writer and illustrator of The Snowman, dies at age 88
Raymond Briggs
| Credit: Richard Saker/Shutterstock

Briggs' other children's books included 1973's Father Christmas, 1975's Father Christmas Goes on Holiday, and 1977's Fungus the Bogeyman.

"I don't think about what children want," Briggs once told the BBC's current affairs show Newsnight. "You get an idea and you just do it. You don't think, 'Oh, children of 10 won't want this.' You don't think like that at all. You don't think about the audience, couldn't possibly. You've just got this idea in your head and you do it how you want it."

Raymond Briggs, writer and illustrator of The Snowman, dies at age 88
'The Snowman'
| Credit: Everett Collection

In the 1980s, Briggs transitioned to writing adult books, most notably 1982's When the Wind Blows, about a couple coping with life after a nuclear attack. The harrowing tale was also adapted into an animated film, with the characters voiced by British acting legends Peggy Ashcroft and John Mills.

Briggs followed When the Wind Blows with 1984's The Tin-Pot Foreign General and the Old Iron Woman, a critique of the then-recent conflict between the U.K. and Argentina over the Falkland Islands.

According to the BBC, Briggs' death was also confirmed by the author's family, who said he "was much loved and will be deeply missed."

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