Cliffs Notes Founder Dies at Age 83
Cliff Hillegass, the founder and former president of Cliffs Notes, whose study guides helped generations of high school and college students through literature classes, died Saturday, reported The Associated Press. He was 83.
Hillegass died at his home of complications from a stroke he suffered in late April, his family said.
Hillegass founded Cliffs Notes in 1958 with a $4,000 loan, writing his study guides in the basement of his Lincoln home.
His first study guide was for Shakespeare's "Hamlet." While working for the Nebraska Book Co., he distributed it to college book stores around the country with a letter asking store managers to give it shelf space to see if it would sell.
"He discussed it with almost everyone he knew at the college book stores," said his wife, Mary Hillegass, 61. "Some said it wouldn't go anywhere, and some thought it was a good idea," said the AP.
Cliffs Notes -- which analyze characters and chapters and explain the works of authors -- became an almost immediate hit with students.
In 1999, Hillegass sold Cliffs Notes to IDG Books Worldwide Inc. of Foster City, Calif., for more than $14 million – Albawaba.com
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