LONDON — Children’s writer Michael Bond, the creator of the hugely popular Paddington Bear books, has died aged 91, his publisher said on Wednesday.
Bond died at home on Tuesday following a short illness, publisher HaperCollins said.
“Published by HarperCollins for almost 60 years, Michael was a giant of children’s literature,” it said in a statement via Facebook.
Bond’s first book, “A Bear Called Paddington,” was published in 1958 and was followed by more than 200 other children’s books.
More than 35 million Paddington books have been sold worldwide and “enjoyed by generations of children,” the publisher said.
HaperCollins released the latest Paddington story, “Paddington’s Finest Hour,” in April.
“Michael Bond was one of the great children’s writers and at HarperCollins we are immensely fortunate to have published him and to have known him,” said Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins’ chief executive.
“He was a wonderful man and leaves behind one of the great literary legacies of our time,” Redmayne said.
Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher of children’s titles for HarperCollins, said she felt “privileged” to have worked with Bond.
“He was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers,” Murtagh said.
“He will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffel coat and wellington boots, which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations.
“My thoughts and love are with his wife, Sue and his children Karen and Anthony.”