Stan Berenstain passed away on Saturday, November 26th, 2005. Together with Jan Berenstain, and lately their sons Leo and Michael, they were the authors of more than 200 books about The Berenstain Bears.
Mr. Berenstain was born on September 29, 1923, so he was 82 years young when he died. He graduated from West Philadelphia High School. The Berenstains met at a Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art drawing class in 1941. Each liked the way the other drew, but they soon discovered that they also liked the theater, going to museums, reading, and sports. World War II interrupted their growing friendship. Stan went into the Army, where he was assigned to be a medical illustrator at an Army plastic surgery center in Indiana. Jan worked drawing engineering plans for military aircraft manufacturers. Shortly after Stan was discharged from the Army, the two friends married. For about one year, they submitted cartoons to national magazines before they broke into the big time: Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, and McCalls. In 1961, their friend Theodor Giesel, a/k/a Dr. Seuss, persuaded them to try illustrating children’s books. Their first book, The Big Honey Hunt, was published by Random House in 1962.
They were parents and big fans of reading and literacy, so their books naturally focused on raising children, family life, and the challenges of childhood. With their sons, Leo and Michael, they have created a lasting legacy of books, television programs, movies, and learning tools.
Stan and Jan Berenstain’s autobiography, Down a Sunny Dirt Road, was published by Random House in 2002. The family resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania for much of their married life.