Beloved children’s author Jan Berenstain, co-creator of The Berenstain Bears book series, has passed away, she was 82. The author suffered a stroke last week from which she never regained consciousness. Jan and her husband Stan created the lovable Berenstain family in 1962 with The Big Honey Hunt and have sold over 260 million copies of their books in 23 languages. There are over 300 titles in the Berenstain Bears children’s books. The Berenstain “franchise” included not only books, but toys, games, a television series and stage production.
The authors and illustrators meet in 1941 at art school. Stan Berenstain served as a medical illustrator at a stateside Army hospital during World War II, and Jan was a draftsman for the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as a riveter building Navy seaplanes. They married in 1946. Stan preceded her in death in 2005.
Ms. Berenstain is survived by two sons; Mike, who has served as an illustrator, Leo who is also involved with the family business and four grandchildren.