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Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond dies aged 91

The author's publisher confirmed the author died on Tuesday, June 28 following a short illness

Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear, has died at the age of 91 following a short illness, his publisher said.

Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children's Books, said the writer who created the character nearly 60 years ago died at home on Tuesday (June 28).

She said in a statement: "I feel privileged to have been Michael Bond's publisher - he was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers.

"He will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffle 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."

The writer became a beloved giant of children's literature after his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958 about the bear from Peru who loves marmalade.

English author Bond wrote 150 books in total, with 25 additional books about Paddington following his first effort.

Michael Bond, author of the Paddington Bear stories, has died at home aged 91 following a short illness(Image: Nick Ansell/PA Wire)

Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins CEO, said: "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.

"He was a wonderful man and leaves behind one of the great literary legacies of our time."

Tributes have started pouring in for Bond following the news of his death. Presenter Stephen Fry tweeted: "So sorry to hear that Michael Bond has departed.

"He was as kindly, dignified, charming & lovable as the immortal Paddington Bear he gave us."

Michael has been called a 'true gentleman'(Image: PA Wire)

Children's author and TV star David Walliams wrote: "I had the great pleasure of spending time with Michael Bond, a dazzling wit and perfect gentleman.

"On meeting him I realised he was Paddington."

Actor Hugh Bonneville, who plays Mr Brown in the recent film adaptation of Paddington and its forthcoming sequel, said in a statement on Instagram: "It seems particularly poignant that we should learn of dear Michael Bond's death on the last day of shooting our second film about his unique, lovable creation.

"In Paddington, Michael created a character whose enthusiasm and optimism has given pleasure to millions across the generations.

Michael with his Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal(Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire)

"Michael will be greatly missed by his legions of fans and especially by his wife Sue, his family and of course by his beloved guinea pigs," said Bonneville.

"He leaves a special legacy: long live the bear from darkest Peru."

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