Mary Mapes Dodge (January 26, 1831-1905) was an American children's writer and editor, best known for her novel Hans Brinker.
Dodge was born in New York City, and married the lawyer William Dodge at 20 years old. Within the next four years she gave birth to two sons, James and Harrington. In 1857, William faced serious financial difficulties; during that same year, at the age of six, their son James was diagnosed with a fatal sinus disease. William left his family in 1858. A month after his disappearance his body was found dead from an apparent drowning, and Mary Mapes Dodge became a widow. In 1859 she began writing and editing, working with her father to publish two magazines, the Working Farmer and the United States Journal. Within a few years she had great success with a collection of short stories, The Irvington Stories (1864), and a novel was solicited. Dodge responded with Hans Brinker, an instant bestseller.
Later in life she was an associate editor of Hearth and Home, edited by Harriet Beecher Stowe. She became an editor in her own right with the children's St. Nicholas Magazine, for she was able to solicit stories from a number of well-known writers including Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. St. Nicholas became one of the most successful magazines for children during the second half of the nineteenth century, with a circulation of almost 70,000 children.
Dodge is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, at 1137 North Broad Street, Hillside, New Jersey.