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About Joseph Wharton Lippincott

August 8th, 2015

Joseph Wharton Lippincott (February 28, 1887[1] – October 22, 1976) was a noted publisher, author, naturalist, and sportsman who was the grandson of Joshua Ballinger Lippincott, founder of Philadelphia publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, and of industrialist Joseph Wharton, founder of the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.

JW Lippincott had a house in McCrae, Florida where he liked to get away to write his books and enjoy nature.  From talking to people who met, or knew about his time in McCrae, very few people knew he was a man of great wealth.  His book, The Wahoo Bobcat, was based on and set in the area around Florahome, Florida.  In the 1950’s it was made into film by the Walt Disney Company.


He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[1] to J. Bertram Lippincott, one of the three children of Joshua Bertram Lippincott, and Joanna Wharton Lippincott, one of the three daughters of Joseph Wharton. He attended The Episcopal Academy and graduated from the Wharton School in 1908. Following college he joined J.B. Lippincott Company, the family publishing firm he would serve for 50 years, including as President from 1927 until 1948, and then as Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 1958.


Lippincott wrote 17 books about animals and nature, including Wilderness Champion; The Wolf King; The Wahoo Bobcat; Long Horn, Leader of the Deer; Chiseltooth, the Beaver; Persimmon Jim, the Possum; Bun, a Wild Rabbit; Little Red, the Fox; Gray Squirrel; Striped Coat, the Skunk; The Red Roan Pony; Animal Neighbors of the Countryside; and Black Wings, the Unbeatable Crow.

Award for Outstanding Librarianship

In 1938 he founded the Joseph W. Lippincott Award for Outstanding Librarianship, which continues to be awarded by the American Library Association each year.


He married Elizabeth Schuyler Mills in 1913, and the couple had two sons, Joseph Wharton Lippincott, Jr. and R. Schuyler Lippincott, and a daughter, Elizabeth Schuyler (Lippincott) Wilkes. His wife died in 1943 and he remarried Virginia (Jones) Mathieson in 1945.



  • Bun: a Wild Rabbit (1918)
  • Red Ben the Fox of Oak Ridge (1919)
  • Gray Squirrel (1921)
  • Striped Coat, the Skunk (1922) illustrated with photographs
  • Persimmon Jim the ‘Possum (1924)
  • Long Horn, Leader of the Deer (1928) illustrated with photographs
  • The Wolf King (1933) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • The Red Roan Pony (1934) illustrated by Lynn Bogue Hunt
  • Chisel-Tooth the Beaver (1936) illustrated by Roland V. Shutts
  • Animal Neighbors of the Countryside (1938) illustrated by Lynn Bogue Hunt
  • Wilderness Champion (1944) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • Black wings: The Unbeatable Crow (1947) illustrated by Lynn Bogue Hunt
  • The Wahoo Bobcat (1950) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • The Phantom Deer (1954) illustrated by Paul Bransom
  • Old Bill, the Whooping Crane (1958) illustrated with photographs
  • Coyote, the Wonder Wolf (1964) illustrated by Ed Dodd

American Wildlife Series

All the books in this series of revised reissues were illustrated by George F. Mason.

  • Bun, a Wild Rabbit (revised edition, 1953)
  • Little Red the Fox (revised edition of Red Ben, the Fox of Oak Ridge, 1953)
  • Gray Squirrel (revised edition, 1954)
  • Striped Coat, the Skunk (revised edition, 1954)
  • Persimmon Jim, the Possum (revised edition, 1955)
  • Long Horn, Leader of the Deer (revised edition, 1955

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