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RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Nov 14, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- The author of the poem "Children Learn What They Live," Dorothy Law Nolte, has died in California. She was 81.
Nolte died Sunday at her Rancho Santa Margarita home of cancer, her daughter told Monday's Los Angeles Times.
Nolte originally wrote "Children Learn What They Live" in 1954 for her column in the now defunct Torrence (Calif.) Herald, the Times said.
Since then, it has been reprinted in more than 30 languages as well as copied numerous times in nationwide advice columns such as "Dear Abby."
Nolte did not take credit for the poem until 1998 when she wrote a book based on it, the Times said. She never took money for the poem, which was often run with an "anonymous" tag at the end.
She did copyright the poem in 1972 after learning a baby food company was distributing her work to millions of new parents, but she let the company have her poem for free.
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito said he was "profoundly touched" by the poem and promised to raise his daughter by its principles, the Times said.
Her book, "Children Learn What They Live," which has a chapter for each line of the poem, has been reprinted in 19 countries and 18 languages. She followed it up with another book in 2002, "Teenagers Learn What They Live."
Nolte is survived by two daughters, two sons, eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International