Playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937), born on this day in Kirriemuir, Scotland, was best known for writing the classic children's tale, Peter Pan (1904), about the boy from Neverland who refused to grow up.
"Let no one who loves be called unhappy. Even love unreturned has its rainbow," said Barrie who with kindness delighted and inspired generations with his visions of Indians, mermaids, fairies, pirates, and flying children.
"I fell in love with hard work one fine May morning," he said. "The most precious possession I ever had--my joy in hard work."
Barrie studied at the University of Edinburgh and became a famous freelance writer. He also wrote such sophisticated political satire as The Admirable Crichton (1902) and What Every Woman Knows (1908). Always, he seemed to celebrate the optimism of childhood more than adulthood.
"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December," he observed.
Barrie donated the perpetual rights of Peter Pan (the play and book) to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, today the largest pediatric training and research center in the UK which treats over 100,000 children each year.
Honored with a baronet in 1913 and the Order of Merit in 1922, Barrie once said, "The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do."