Margaret McElderry has been editing children's books since 1945, so successful that Simon & Schuster created an imprint -- McElderry Books -- after her. She's a Pittsburgher, born on the North Side where her father worked at the old Arbuckle Coffee Company and a graduate of the library school now at the University of Pittburgh. The school started at the Carnegie Library and moved to Pitt. After the Carnegie, she was hired at the New York Public Library and worked as a librarian for military intelligence in World War II.
A longtime friend of Amy Kellman and Maggie Kimmel, local library legends, Miss McElderry would occasionally visit to her hometown until her age slowed her down. Kellman introduced us at a David Mamet play in New York, one of his lesser efforts, "The Old Neighborhood."
Miss McElderry surfaces in the August 2009 Gourmet, profiled by the partner of her relative, writer John Burnham Schwartz. Through the years they gathered at Miss McElderry's Nantucket cottage. Her tastes in food were distinctly un-Gourmet like, as we learn, particularly her approach to cooking lobster.
Miss McElderry turned 97 this month. In 1994, she was named a "Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania."