Known as Kitty Fink at Soldan High and Washington University, St. Louis-born Kay Thompson began her career as a singer in Hollywood. At MGM she wrote and arranged songs for films like The Ziegfeld Follies and The Harvey Girls in 1946. Thompson also won acclaim for her unique nightclub performances and her role in 1957’s Funny Face. In 1955 she published Eloise, a book about a mischievous six-year-old living in New York’s Plaza Hotel. Loved by children and “precocious grown-ups,” Eloise and three sequels sold one million copies by 1963. Eloise Takes a Bawth, published posthumously in 2002, introduced Kay Thompson’s alter ego to a new generation of readers.
Ms. Lorin Cuoco, author and NPR reporter, accepted the award on behalf of Kay Thompson.