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"Watership Down" author Richard Adams has died at age 96

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/27/2016
FILE - In this Oct. 18, 1978 file photo author Richard Adams poses for a photograph. The daughter of British author Richard Adams, whose 1972 book "Watership Down" became a classic of children's literature, says her father has died at age 96. Juliet Johnson told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016 that Adams died on Christmas Eve. (PA Photo via AP) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 18, 1978 file photo author Richard Adams poses for a photograph. The daughter of British author Richard Adams, whose 1972 book "Watership Down" became a classic of children's literature, says her father has died at age 96. Juliet Johnson told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016 that Adams died on Christmas Eve. (PA Photo via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The daughter of British author Richard Adams, whose 1972 book "Watership Down" became a classic of children's literature, says her father has died at age 96.

Juliet Johnson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Adams died on Christmas Eve.

A statement on the official website for "Watership Down" said Adams' children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren announced his death "with sadness."

His tale about the plight of rabbits whose home was under threat was published in 1972 and became an astonishing success.

Adams' dreamed up the elements of the novel while working as a civil servant and telling his daughters Juliet and Rosamond bedtime stories about rabbits.

The book has since sold tens of millions of copies and was made into a film, with a remake scheduled for next year.

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