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Dick King-Smith, the British author of the popular children's books which spawned the hit film "Babe", has died at the age of 88, his publishers said on Wednesday.
The prolific writer, whose 1983 book "The Sheep-Pig" was made into the 1995 film, died in his sleep on Tuesday at his home near Bath in southwest England, said a spokeswoman for Random House.
He is believed to have been in poor health in recent years.
King-Smith described his creations as "farmyard fantasies" for children and many of his more than 100 books featured animals, drawing on the two decades he spent as a farmer after fighting in World War II.
A late starter as a writer, his first book, "The Fox Busters", was published in 1978 when he was already in his 50s and he went on to sell more than 15 million books worldwide.
But it was "The Sheep-Pig", about a little pig trained as a sheepdog, which really made his name and was eventually turned into the film received a number of Academy award nominations.
King-Smith is survived by his second wife Zona, three children, 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
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