The Berenstain Bears books have been read and loved by children for 50 years. The Mama Bear of the Berenstain duo, Jan Berenstain, died Friday, February 24 at 88.
Together with her husband Stan, the duo wrote and illustrated more than 300 children’s books on topics that ranged from taking family vacations to doing chores around the house. The Berenstains modeled the bears in the books on their own children and grandchildren.
Jan Berenstain was born Janice Grant on July 26, 1923 in Philadelphia. She was raised in West Philadelphia, attended Radnor High School, then went on to attend the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. She met Stan Berenstain there on their first day of classes in 1941, and the couple married on April 13, 1946. They had two sons, Leo and Mike. Jan Berenstain died in the hospital February 24, 2012, a day after suffering a stroke.
Stan Berenstain died November 26, 2005. Since his death, Jan Berenstain colloborated with their younger son Mike on projects that enabled the Berenstain Bears books to continue to be written and illustrated. Mike Berenstain has illustrated numerous Berenstain Bears books.
Source: Publishers Weekly and Wikipedia