Mildred Wirt Benson has achieved many things in her 96 years of living. Some things will be remembered for years to come and others were priceless. No matter what she will always be remembered for her outstanding writing and successful series of children’s books especially the well-known Nancy Drew series.
Millie was born in Ladora, Iowa on July 5,1905 she was the only child and her parents were DR.J.L and Lillian Augustine. She was raised in a small town and often spent her spare time reading and using her imagination. She preferred reading boys books because she thought of them as being more “lively”. She published her first book at the age of 12 and sold it for $2.50 to the St. Nicholas magazine. .
Millie attended The University of Iowa where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and was also the first women to ever graduate with a bachelor in 1927. Millie then married and moved to Cleveland, Ohio where she often found herself unhappy because of missing the small town where she once lived. She and her husband then moved to Old Orchard in Toledo, Ohio which she found more comfortable. Millie then sent a draft of the first Nancy Drew mystery called The Secret of the Old Clock to the publisher Edward Stratemeyer. He thought the story was perfect and made a deal with her. He would give her only $125 for each book she wrote in the series but . it had to be under the pen name of Carolyn Keene. Millie wrote 23 books under this deal without ever revealing that she was “Carolyn Keene”. Until she testified in court complaining that she deserved more for the work she had done. She has never collected any money from the books, movies and bored games since. She just wanted to get the credit that she deserved for all the work that she had done writing this successful series that sold over 200 million copies in 17 different languages. Millie then died on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at the age of 96 while sitting at her desk in the corner of The Blade building.