Co-creator of Berenstain Bears dies at 82

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Illustration of Stan and Jan Berenstain, by the Berenstains.
Illustration of Stan and Jan Berenstain, by the Berenstains.

Stan Berenstain, co-creator of the popular Berenstain Bears children's books, has died due to complications from cancer at age 82. Along with his wife, Jan Berenstain, Stan and Jan Berenstain published over 200 books aimed at teaching children to read and helping them with lessons such as sharing, new siblings.

The first Berenstain Bears book was published in 1962 and titled "The Big Honey Hunt". With the help of head of children's publishing at Random House, author Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, the Berenstains created a franchise that drew millions of young readers.

Until 1997, when they hired an employee to run the company's computer, Mr. Berenstain and his family managed the entire ursine enterprise, which has branched out into two television series, videos, stage musicals, toys, cereal and other products.

According to an interview of the Berenstain Bears official website, Papa Bear is based on Stan, Mama on Jan; Stan clarifies that he's "not as stupid" as Papa.

Stan fed his interest in drawing as a child, by drawing on paper bags and cardboard.