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The Encyclopedic Mr. Roto

Updated: July 19, 2012, 6:54 PM ET
By Matthew Berry | ESPN.com

When the phone rang the other night, it was my mom, calling with some bad news.

"Donald J. Sobol passed away last night," she told me.

If the name doesn't immediately grab you, that's OK. It took me a second as well. He wasn't a household name.

But as the author of the "Encyclopedia Brown" child detective series, Donald J. Sobol was a huge part of my childhood. I read the first book when it was first released and, like millions of others, was instantly ...

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