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Betty Cavanna


(Elizabeth Allen Cavanna)
USA (1909 - 2001)

aka Betsy Allen, Elizabeth Headley

American juvenile author (full name: Elizabeth Allen) Betty Cavanna suffered from a crippling disease, infantile paralysis, as a child, which she eventually overcame with treatment and exercise. During her convalescence, attentive adults read to her until she was old enough to read to herself, beginning a long love affair with books.

Cavanna majored in journalism at the New Jersey College for Women in New Brunswick, from where she received the Bachelor of Letters degree in 1929. She also took art classes in New York and Philadelphia. Cavanna's first job was as a reporter for the Bayonne Times. In 1931 she joined the staff of the Westminster Press in Philadelphia and over the next ten years served as advertising manager and art director. She also wrote and sold material to Methodist and Baptist publishing firms. In 1940 she married Edward Talman Headley, with whom she had a son. They moved to Philadelphia. After her husband's death, she married George Russell Harrison, a university dean of science, as well as nonfiction writer, in 1957. He died in 1979.
 
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