Remembering Betty White

By Caroline O'Connor | January 7 2022 | AdultsChildren'sAllBlog

Betty White, award-winning actress, animal advocate, and bestselling Putnam/Berkley author, died on December 31, 2021, at the age of 99. Her passing sparked an immediate outpouring of personal tributes. 

White wrote two books published by Penguin Random House imprints Putnam and Berkley: IF YOU ASK ME (And Of Course You Won’t) and BETTY & FRIENDS: My Life at the Zoo.

“It was a true joy to publish these two books,” said Ivan Held, President, Putnam/Berkley/Dutton. “Betty White the author was much like Betty White the actress that we all love and have read about.  She was super hard working (in writing and promoting), dedicated to making things work, completely reliable, and always (always) full of good humor!”


In IF YOU ASK ME, Betty White shared her thoughts on a range of topics, including:

  • The importance of passion in life: “I rarely hear the alarm clock. Even when I have to get up early, I’m usually awake before it goes off. I need about four hours’ deep sleep and I’m good to go. I chalk it up to my passions and enthusiasm. I can’t imagine living any other way.”


  • Getting older:  “Let’s say I meet someone I find attractive. I have to keep reminding myself of how old I am, because I don’t feel like I’m that old. I fight the urge to flirt and try to shape up. No fool like an old fool. But I don’t get depressed as the number climbs. Perhaps because I don’t fear death.”


  • Animals: “It’s been widely reported that I prefer the company of animals to humans. As a matter of fact, Barbara Walters asked me that direct question in an interview at one point. With Barbara, you don’t hedge. I said, ‘Yes, that’s true!’  Now, here with you I want to be on the level: It is true. Can you blame me?  Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.”


  • A kid’s dream career: “One of the first questions in every interview since I started in television more than sixty years ago has always been, ‘When you were growing up, did you always want to be in show business?’  My answer has never changed. As a kid, show business wasn’t even in the mix. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be either a forest ranger or a zookeeper.”


My Little Golden Book About Betty White
Help your little one dream big with a Little Golden Book biography about America's First Lady of Television, Betty White! The perfect introduction to nonfiction for young readers!
$5.99 US
Sep 28, 2021
6-5/8 x 8
24 Pages
Golden Books
Age 4-8 years

If You Ask Me
(And of Course You Won't)
The New York Times bestseller from the beloved actress and Hollywood icon who's made us laugh on shows from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Golden Girls to Saturday Night Live!In this candid take on everything from the unglamorous reality behind red-carpet affairs to her beauty regimen (“I have no idea what color my hair is, and I never intend to find out”), Betty White shares her observations about life, celebrity, and love (for humans and animals). Filled with photos, If You Ask Me is funny, sweet, and straight to the point—just like Betty.
$20.00 US
Feb 07, 2012
6 x 9
272 Pages

Betty & Friends
My Life at the Zoo
America's sweetheart, impassioned lifelong animal welfare advocate, and New York Times bestselling author Betty White shares intimate, funny, and enlightening stories about her very best friends in the world… All her life, Betty White has had a menagerie of pets, many of them rescued, and has donated countless hours and resources to animal welfare. Animals are her passion, and that passion extends to zoos and their importance for the conservation of species and for offering humans the ability to witness the grandeur and variety of these magnificent animals from around the world. Betty & Friends is a love letter to those zoos, to their dedicated workers, and especially to the animals in them—from Gita the elephant, whom Betty used to take for walks; to Bruno the orangutan, who flaunts his affections for Betty; to Jacob the boa, who loves a good hug. Gaining access to this majestic world through Betty’s eyes and her inimitable words is a beautiful thing indeed for animal lovers and Betty White lovers of all ages.INCLUDES GORGEOUS FULL-COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS
$17.00 US
Sep 04, 2012
6 x 6
320 Pages

The Leading Lady
Dinah's Story
Hollywood icon Betty White and actor Tom Sullivan present the story of a guide dog named Dinah and the extraordinary difference she made in every life she touched.Beloved actress Betty White is a bona fide television pioneer, but throughout her life, her heart has always been with the animals. One of the most enriching episodes in her career as an animal-rights advocate arrived with actor Tom Sullivan. Blind since birth, Tom was one of Betty’s closest friends and professional partners. Their dearest collaboration was a mutual devotion to a golden retriever named Dinah. This first-class guide dog was more than Tom's best friend, she was a source of unqualified loyalty and love. Most important, she enabled Tom to be truly independent for the first time in his life. However as Dinah got older, as her faculties weakened and her confidence faltered, Tom had little choice but to get a new dog. The effect of losing her purpose was devastating to the once-gallant Dinah. Then Betty gladly stepped in to give this great Lady a new lease on life.What would transpire is a heartening and inspiring story of a dog who made a difference and who, in Betty White’s words, “helped Tom grow up as she has helped me grow older.” It is for all animal lovers, for all Betty White lovers, and everyone who can relate to the unconditional devotion of dogs and the people who love them. INCLUDES PHOTOS
$16.00 US
Feb 05, 2013
6 x 9
304 Pages

The Golden Girls Mad Libs
World's Greatest Word Game
Finally! A Mad Libs for fans of the Golden Girls!
$5.99 US
Mar 07, 2017
5-1/4 x 8-3/8
48 Pages
Mad Libs
Age 8-12 years

Golden Rules: Wit and Wisdom of The Golden Girls
What better way to thank someone for being a friend than to share this fabulous book with them? It's packed with the inimitable wit and wisom of everyone's favorite ladies--Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia!
$12.99 US
Jul 16, 2019
5-3/4 x 5-1/2
48 Pages
Penguin Workshop