Jewel Kats, beloved author and George Brown alum passes away

Kats was an advocate for children with disabilities

Jewel Kats, an award-winning author of eleven books, and a former student in George Brown College’s continuing education program passed away on Jan. 7. Kats was 37 years-old.

In 2014, Kats was featured in George Brown’s continuing education calendar. In the article, Kats said that her writing, which features children with various disabilities, speaks to kids who are often not represented in books.

Portrait of Jewel Kats

Acclaimed author Jewel Kats who died on Jan. 7 | Photo: George Brown College

“What my books teach is that you can be a princess with a disability, you can be
anybody you want to be and my characters reflect this,” she said.

Besides being well-known for her disability-positive books, Kats garnered attention for inspiring the first Archie comics character with a disability—Harper Lodge.

Tributes for Kats have been rolling in on Twitter from several prominent Canadians, including actor and director Vinay Virmani as well as CBC reporters Charlsie Agro and Deana Sumanac.

In a tweet commemorating Kats, Archie comics writer Dan Parent said, “RIP Jewel Kats. You’ve inspired so many! You won’t be forgotten!”

Kats is survived by her husband, mother and sisters.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Kats was a graduate of George Brown College. She was a former student that took a few continuing education classes.

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Jewel Kats, beloved author and George Brown alum passes away