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Johnny Gruelle was an extremely talented cartoonist, illustrator, and storyteller. He had already written and illustrated a book of original fairy tales before creating the Raggedy Ann and Andy stories. Raggedy Ann, heroine of the first book, was a favorite doll of his daughter, Marcella, who died after a long illness at the age of thirteen. Johnny Gruelle eventually created over forty Raggedy Ann and Andy books, all capturing his unique version of childhood.