Centerstage - Chicago's Original City Guide

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Who's Who - Lit

Styles: Born in Chicago, Childrens Books, Died in Chicago, Early 20th Century, Humor, Journalists, Lived in Chicago, University of Chicago

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Richard Tupper Atwater

Born in Chicago, Richard T. Atwater taught Greek at his alma mater, the University of Chicago. Under the pseudonym "Riq," he wrote a humor column for the Chicago Evening Post. In 1932, inspired by a film he saw about Byrd's Antarctic expedition, Atwater began writing "Mr. Popper's Penguins," but couldn't come up with a satisfactory ending for the story. He suffered a stroke in 1934, and his wife Florence Hasseltine Atwater took over the project. She completed the novel, which was published in 1938 and became an instant favorite for children and their parents.


  • Rickety Rhymes of Riq, 1925
  • Doris and the Trolls, 1931
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins, 1938 (co-written with Florence H. Atwater)

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