‘Paddington Bear’ Author Michael Bond Dies At The Age Of 91

Felicity McCabe/Paddington

Michael Bond didn’t set out to become a writer, but he went on to create a series of beloved children’s books, nonetheless. Bond, author of the “Paddington Bear” books, died on June 27 at the age of 91.

The publishing house HarperCollins UK was the first to announce the news in a statement.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that Michael Bond, CBE, the creator of one of Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, Paddington, died at home yesterday aged 91 following a short illness,” the statement read.

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On the official Paddington website, Bond explains how the bear character first came to life.

“I bought a small toy bear on Christmas Eve 1956. I saw it left on a shelf in a London store and felt sorry for it. I took it home as a present for my wife Brenda and named it Paddington as we were living near Paddington Station at the time,” he said. Bond was working as a television cameraman for BBC at the time.

“I wrote some stories about the bear, more for fun than with the idea of having them published. After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn’t written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind things I liked reading about when I was young.”

Paddington bear photo
Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole

The same stories that he enjoyed when he was young was then translated into the stories of a bear from “Darkest Peru” and went on to capture the hearts of many children.

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The books were published in over 40 languages and even inspired a movie in 2014.

The sequel, “Paddington 2,” began shooting in 2016.

Paddington bear photo
Getty Images | Ian Gavan

He did all this, never intending to become a writer.

“When I was small I never went to bed without a story. But I doubt my mother ever pictured me writing for a living,” he said in a statement for the Paddington website.

“In fact, when I eventually gave up working for the BBC in order to write full time, I think both my parents were worried that I had given up a nice, safe job for what sounded to them like a very precarious existence.”

Instead, he created an adventurous life for himself and for Paddington the bear, who will live on as his greatest legacy.

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