Michael Bond, 91, died after a short illness at his home in Britain, reports his publisher Harper Collins. He was the creator of
Peruvian immigrant Paddington Bear, beloved the world over in books, television and movies. Bond was described as "kindly, dignified and charming" by friend and fan Stephen Fry, traits to be found in abundance throughout an artistic life detailed in the BBC's obituary:
The seeds of the idea had taken root during the war when Bond saw newsreels of children being sent out from British cities to avoid German bombing. "I had memories of children being evacuated from London with a label around their necks and all their possessions in a suitcase, and this became part of Paddington as well," he said.
"Paddington Bear was a refugee with a label – 'Please look after this bear. Thank you', and he had a little suitcase."