Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Virginia Eifert  

Pen Name: Virginia S. Eifert


Born: 1911 in Springfield, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Eifert lived in Springfield her entire life.

Biographical and Professional Information

Virginia S. Eifert may have lived her entire life in Springfield,Illinois, but her passions took her much farther, traveling and learning about North America's natural and human history on a much broader scale. Born in 1911, she was ill through much of high school and never attained a high school diploma. Instead, she began journaling, learning nature on an intimate level, then developing a 'nature news' publication that she distributed around her neighborhood. Soon she was asked to write in this same style for one of the largest newspapers in Illinois, and by the time she was 19 she was asked to create, write, illustrate and edit a monthly magazine for the Illinois State Museum. She continued with this effort for 326 issues until 1966 and her early death at age 56. Some of her finest writing appeared in ''The Living Museum''. At the museum she also published a series of natural history booklets and wrote for many nationally distributed nature magazines such as ''Audubon'' and ''Nature''. In 1954, she published her first major book for a New York publisher, Dodd Mead, and went on to write 19 more, winning several national awards in the process.

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