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"Jim Henson: The Biography" releases on September 24, 2013

Fans have been waiting more than 20 years for the first biography on Jim Henson's life with full participation and support from Jim Henson’s family and creative partners.

Courtesy of Random House
September 2, 2013

Save off the regular price, pre-order "Jim Henson: The Biography" on hardback, paperback and eBook and "Jim Henson: The Biography" audiobook on CD with a low price guarantee.

For the first time ever—a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth century’s most innovative
creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson.

He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just a part of his remarkable story.

An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as “the new Walt Disney,” and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him.

Here also is insight into Henson’s intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing, his love of fast cars and expensive art, and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life—a fear that his heartbreaking final days would prove all too well founded.

Offering an up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius
transcended age, language, geography, and culture.


Millions around the world know the name; millions more know the countless iconic characters: Kermit the Frog. Bert and Ernie. Grover. Miss Piggy. Big Bird. The Muppets. All of these creations, and more, sprang from the brilliant mind of James Maury Henson, one of the most wonderfully innovative artists and entertainers of the twentieth century.

In "Jim Henson: The Biography", readers will hear the full story of his all-too-short life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi, to his days of jetting off from college classes to tape early Muppet TV spots for a local Washington, D.C., TV station. Readers will learn about the creation of the Muppets, the story behind Jim’s involvement with the iconic Sesame Street, his contributions to the first year of Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year effort to bring The Muppet Show to television. Readers will also explore his foray into feature films, including non-Muppet fare like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth and his countless other creative projects.

Finally, readers will receive an unprecedented look into Jim Henson’s personal life, ending with his heartbreaking final days as he tragically succumbed to an invasive staph infection at age 53.

Inside "Jim Henson: The Biography" readers will learn about:

  • Seventeen-year-old Jim Henson’s first TV appearance as a puppeteer on the Junior Morning Show on WTOP/CBS in Washington, D.C.
  • Kermit the Frog’s 1955 debut on Jim Henson’s local Washington DC show Sam and Friends.
  • The Muppets’ national television debut on The Tonight Show in 1956.
  • The premiere of Sesame Street on November 10, 1969
  • Jim and the Muppets’ regular appearances on the first episodes of Saturday Night Live in 1975
  • The premiere of The Muppet Show on September 20, 1976
  • Jim Henson’s untimely death in a New York hospital on May 16, 1990

Save off the regular price, pre-order "Jim Henson: The Biography" on hardback, paperback and eBook and "Jim Henson: The Biography" audiobook on CD with a low price guarantee.

Read the prologue for a preview of "Jim Henson: The Biography" by Brian Jay Jones.

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