Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905) was born in Newark, New Jersey. At the age of 28, she became a widow with two young children. Determined to support her family, she began writing children’s stories, which she first tried out on her own children. In 1865, she published “Hans Brinker; or The Silver Skates.” The book was a huge success and is now considered a classic of children’s literature. In 1873, Dodge became the first editor of St. Nicholas Magazine, a popular 19th century magazine for children that published renowned authors such as Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Mark Twain.