Winnie the Pooh, one of the world's best loved literary characters, is celebrating his 80th birthday.
Pooh--the main character in the bedtime stories by Alan Alexander Milne--first appeared in the London Evening News on Christmas Eve 1925 in the story, The Wrong Sort of Bees. The honey-loving bear's many adventures--along with his friends Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore--have since been translated into more than 40 languages and several Walt Disney animated films.
The inspiration for the stories came from Milne's son, Christopher Robin--who, as a result, figured into the stories as well. The real-life boy had a favorite teddy bear, which he named Winnie the Pooh in honor of a Canadian bear he had seen in London Zoo. He had other stuffed animals, including a kangaroo, a piglet and a donkey, which all became the basis for other characters in the stories, which were written for Milne's family.
The initial story was such a success that Milne wrote a whole anthology of Pooh stories, Winnie the Pooh, which was published about a year later, in October 1926.