When I was a little girl, I loved the fictional character of Annie.  As an adult, I still love Annie.  There was something simply magical about that spirited red haired and freckled Annie.  She had a hard life, but she never gave up hope.  Even though she never found her real parents, Daddy Warbucks adopted her.  She finally found love with her new family.  Despite all the joy that Annie has brought to the world, this month fans of Annie are mourning.  Thomas Edward Meehan, who was the writer of the Annie musical, died on August 21, 2017.

Born on August 14, 1929 in Ossining, New York, Meehan began working at The New Yorker’s “Talk of The Town.”  Already, he proved that he was a great writer.  In 1972, they asked Meehan to write the musical based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie.  At first, Meehan was reluctant to accept the offer, but he finally accepted it.  Since the musical Annie debuted on Broadway on April 22, 1977, accepting the offer turned out to be a great decision for his career.  After 2,377 performances, the musical Annie closed on January 2, 1983.

Since the musical Annie lasted for six years, it set a record for the most shows at the Alvin Theater.  The musical Annie won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.  Even after the musical Annie closed, girls were still singing songs like “Tomorrow” and “It’s A Hard Knock Life.”  Not only was Annie a musical in New York, it became a musical worldwide.

In addition to writing Annie, Meehan wrote other musicals such as The Producers and Hairspray among others, He also created many screenplays.   He was an Emmy Award-winning writer of television comedy.  Always showing his erudite nature, Meehan also frequently contributed humor to the New Yorker, a very distinguished publication.

On December 19, 2014 a new film version of Annie made its debut for a new generation.  This movie included the newest technologies of our modern world such as cell phones and social media.  As well as classic Annie songs such as “Tomorrow” and “It’s A Hard Knock Life,” it also included a new song such as “Opportunity” among others.  With such a magnetic personality and beautiful voice, Quvenzhane Wallis, who is an Academy Award-nominated actress, showed the world that Annie does not have to have red hair or freckles.

The legacy that Meehan left the world is one of a universal Annie.  She can be any color or creed.  She can come from any part of the world.  Any little girl who has moxie has the spirit of Annie.  Through his creation of Annie, Meehan will remain immortal encouraging all girls to dream of a better tomorrow.