jbrown.jpgJeff Brown, the author of the popular “Flat Stanley” children’s series, died on Dec. 3 from a heart attack. He was 77.
Born and raised in New York City, Brown was a child actor who performed on the radio and in several Broadway shows. He moved to Hollywood, where he worked with producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr., and with Pennebaker Productions, Marlon Brando’s company at Paramount.
When he returned to New York, Brown became a senior editor at Warner Books. His articles and fiction appeared in numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, Life, The Saturday Evening Post and Esquire.
One night, 30 years ago, while tucking his sons J.C. and Tony into bed, they inquired as to what would happen if the bulletin board on the wall fell on top of them. Brown said they would wake up flat, and the idea for the character Flat Stanley Lambchop was born.
“Best idea I ever had, and I didn’t even know I’d had it. Not for many months, until a friend in the kid-book business, who knew about the flat stories, suggested I make them into a book,” Brown once stated.
The first “Flat Stanley” adventure was published in 1964. Since that time, nearly 1 million books have been sold in the U.S. The stories, which are used by elementary school teachers all over the world, have also been translated into many languages. Brown’s final book, “Stanley, Flat Again!” was published in October.