Source: New York Times, Thursday, March 8th, 1973
ROBERT O'BRIEN WON NEWBERY BOOK PRIZE
Robert C. O'Brien, who was honored in 1971 by the American Library Association for the year's most distinguished literatary book for children, died Monday in Washington of a heart attack. He was 55 years old.
Mr. O'Brien was awarded the John Newbery Medal for "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH"--the story of a brave widowed mouse who defends her offspring from constant dangers. Last year, his "A Report from Group 17"--a suspense novel about biological warfare--was chosen as an alternate selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club.
In private life, Mr. O'Brien was Robert L. Conly, a senior assistant editor of the National Geographic magazine since 1970. He joined National Geographic in 1951, after having served on the staffs of Newsweek magazine and the Washington Times-Herald, and as news editor of Pathfinder magazine.
Survivors include his widow, the former Sally McCaslin; four children, two brothers and two sisters.
Source: Time, March 19, 1973, p. 57
Died. Robert L. Conly, 55, senior assistant editor of the National Geographic magazine, who under the pen name Robert C. O'Brien wrote a prize-winning children's book (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH) and last year's top-rated cloak- and-dagger tale for adults, A Report From Group 17; of a heart attack; in Washington, D. C.