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Paddington bear author Michael Bond dies

The author Michael Bond, who created Paddington bear, has died at the age of 91 following a short illness.

Bond's publisher, HarperCollins, said 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."

Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children's Books, said: "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."

Bond's first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958 about a marmalade-loving bear from Peru.

The English author, who grew up in Berkshire, wrote 150 books in total, with 25 additional books about Paddington, who then came to life in well-loved television series.

HarperCollins chief executive Charlie Redmayne 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."

The adventures of the Paddington, who became a classic character in children's literature, came to the big screen in 2014, with a sequel scheduled to hit cinemas this year.

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