Berenstain Bears Co-Creator Passes Away

Stan Berenstain, who along with his wife created the popular BERENSTAIN BEARS children's books, died on Nov. 26, 2005, reports CNN. He was 82 and lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

In more than 200 books, the Berenstain Bears, written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain, helped children deal with common dilemmas like going to the dentist, eating junk food and cleaning their rooms. The first Berenstain Bears book, THE GREAT HONEY HUNT, was published in 1962. The couple developed the series with Theodor Dr. Seuss Geisel, who was then head of children's publishing at Random House.

Though times have changed since the debut of THE BERENSTAIN BEARS, Stan Berenstain told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS in 2002, "Kids still tell fibs and they mess up their rooms and they still throw tantrums in the supermarket. Nobody gets shot. No violence. There are problems, but they're the kind of typical family problems everyone goes through."

Stan and Jan Berenstain began drawing together when they met at Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art in 1941. The two married soon after he got out of Army service during WWII.

Upon submitting cartoons to magazines, they became contributors to THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, MCCALLS and COLLIER'S. The book deal came about when an editor at a New York publishing house, who liked their magazine cartoons, encouraged them to do a book. Later their sons Leo and Michael joined them, and many of the recent books are credited collectively to "The Berenstains."

The characters went on to gain additional fame in an animated public television program, DVDs and a Christmas musical.

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