Stan Berenstain


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Stan Berenstain, who with his wife created the popular children's books about a loving furry family called the Berenstain Bears, has died.

He was 82 and lived in Bucks County in suburban Philadelphia. He died in Pennsylvania on Saturday, said Audra Boltion, a spokeswoman for HarperCollins Children's Books in New York.

In more than 200 books, the Berenstain Bears, written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain, helped children for 40 years cope with trips to the dentist, new babies in the family, eating junk food and cleaning th eir messy rooms.

The first Berenstain Bears book, "The Big Honey Hunt," was published in 1962. The couple developed the series with children's author Theodor Geisel - better known as Dr. Seuss, then head of children's publishing at Random House - with the goal of teaching children to read while entertaining them.

The books aimed to show children - and their parents - how to deal with a long list of childhood challenges, from finding ways to share and watch less TV, to overcoming the "gimmies" and not succumbing to the "in-crowd."

Despite changes in society in the last four decades, little has changed in "Bears Country."

"Kids still tell fibs and they mess up their rooms and they still throw tantrums in the supermarket," Stan Berenstain told The Associated Press in 2002. "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 toge ther when they met at Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art in 1941.

The two married soon after he got out of World War II-era Army service and began submitting cartoons to magazines. They became contributors to The Saturday Evening Post, McCalls and Collier's.

In their early years of collaboration, the couple wrote the "All in the Family" cartoon series for McCall's and Good Housekeeping. In 1962, they began an association with Geisel, who suggested that they write for children.

In later years, their sons Leo and Michael joined them at writing and illustrating, and many of the recent books are credited collectively to "The Berenstains."

The characters are the subject of their own public television program, DVDs and a Christmas musical.

In addition to his wife, Berenstain is survived by his two sons. A private memorial service was scheduled for Wednesday.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

To the family of Stan,

Stan brought much joy to.many children and families over the years through his many fine books called Berenstein Bears and others. May the God of all true comfort add to yours at this time.


Aaron Orange
Wesley Chapel, Fl


Please accept my sincere condolences and sincere prayers that go out to the surviving family and friends. May the God of comfort continue to bless you and yours especially after such an untimely loss of a very precious life please accept my deepest sympathies. (2 Cor. 1:2, 3).

To the Family of Stan Berenstain: My condolences to in the lost of your loved one. No matter if it was yesterday or years ago, death is never normal. May you find comfort in the scripture of John 11:25.

i grew up reading your books,and my children too'll be missed my heart goes out to your family and friends.

thank you so much, the look on my daughter's and son's face as i read to them before bed will always be with me....of all the bear stories, " The Spooky Old Tree" was their favorite, i know it by heart, i hope i am able to see the same look on my beautiful grandaughter's face, if and when i can read it to her

My brother & I grew up reading & learning from your books. Thank you for giving us something worthwhile to grow up with.

Your Death was tragic. You Will be missed. All of my children have enjoyed growing up with your collection of books. Your talent was remarkable. As I am sure that every generation of young children will enjoy these wonderful books for years to come. God Bless you.