Mary Downing Hahn life has always been overshadowed by her writing that has spanned many decades, as it is, this has made many curious about her longlasting marriage with Norman Pearce Jacob. Away from this, she is the mother of two daughters whom she had from a previous relationship.
That being said, Mary has continued to write books which are inspired by her life’s experiences. Notable among these are Stepping on the Cracks, Wait Till Helen Returns, and the Edgar Award winning book, Closed for the Season.
The Author is Married to Norman Pearce
To the best of our knowledge, Mary Downing is married to her husband of many decades, Norman Pearce Jacob, a librarian. The pair walked down the aisle on April 23, 1982.
For over four decades they managed to keep their relationship away from scandal and gossip.
As far as we can tell, Mary first They managed to keep their marriage quiet and away from scandal and this explains why not much is known about it.
Other Details About Mary Downing
1. Her Early Life and Age
Mary Downing was born on December 9, 1937 to Kenneth Ernest and Anna Elisabeth in Washington D.C. Her parents struggled to make ends meet as kenneth was a mechanic while her mother was a teacher. As a result, she was often left in her grandmother’s care while her parents were at work.
Though many children enjoy moments with their grandparents, it was not the case with Mary. From what we gathered, her grandmother had mental issues which made her cruel to her and outrightly mean to her parents. Thus, whenever they were left alone, Mary always found a way to stay outdoors.
With this background, one would assume that she never wanted anything to do with her grandmother. It turns out that it was not the case. In fact, when her grandmother died, she felt guilty.
Away from this, she earned her first and second degrees in 1960 and 1969 respectively.
2. The Washington-Born Started Her Career as a High School Teacher
Shortly after she graduated from the University, Mary started teaching art at junior high school. But this lasted for only a year before she decided to be a librarian. From what we gathered, her leaving was because she didnt like being an authority figure.
Subsequently, she stayed at home to take care of her daughters. While with them, she would often read to them and in the course of this, Mary found herself making up stories to keep them entertained. Though this would later push her into what she is now famous for, she didn’t immediately start writing, Infact, she went back to school to study for her Ph.d.
3. Mary Published First Novel at the Age of 41
While Mary is now a celebrated writer with many books to show for it, she only launched a writing career in her 40s and to be precise when she was 41 going on 42. Noticeably, at this age most people would have become experts in certain professions but in her case she did not allow it to be an obstacle. Prior, she started by doing book illustration for Cover to Cover, a children reading series as well being a library assistant to add to her income.
Though she was in school to obtain her doctorate degree, Mary found herself writing a children’s book. Subsequently, she dropped out and never turned away from writing.Moving forward, she published her first book The Sara Summer in 1979.
Her books are known for capturing the attention of mostly children and young adults in the genres of historical fiction, realistic fiction, and picture books. Also, her life experience have been the central theme of books like Stepping on Cracks and December as it was based on the loss of her favourite uncle who had died in the line of duty during World War II. So far she has worn several awards including the;
- Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction
- Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award
4. Her First Marriage Ended After 16 Years
Though the Award winning author and Norman have a long lasting marriage that many can only wish for, this is not her first marriage. Apparently, her first marriage was to William E Hahn whom she tied the knot with on October 7, 1961. The pair met while attending at Maryland University. While she was studing Art and English, Hahn was a law student.
They were together for 16 years before the marriage ended in divorce in 1977. Notably, she kept his last name long after they parted ways and this has been the name she publishes her books with.
5. She is a Mother of Two Daughters
Mary became a mother to Katherine Sherwood and Margaret Elizabeth during her first marriage with Hahn. As mentioned earlier, she was a hand-on mum who invested some years of her life to training her two daughters. As a result, they helped her to hone her story telling skill as well as discover her love for writing children’s stories.