Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was born in Hampstead, London, on January 18, 1882 to parents Vince and Sarah Marie Milne. As a boy he showed prowess in Mathematics. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge and studied Mathematics on a scholarship. While in school he wrote and edited for a school publication and later on collaborated with his brother Kenneth where the initials AKM appeared on their articles.
In 1903, he tried to make a living as a freelance writer, writing humorous articles and light verses. Two years later, he became an assistant editor for the humour magazine, Punch in 1906. In 1913, he married Dorothy “Daphne” de Sélincourt, their only son Christopher Robin Milne was born in 1920.
Milne served in the army in World War I as an officer of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and then later the Royal Corps of Signals. He was discharged from duty on February 14, 1919 and settled in Mallord Street, Chelsea.
After the war, he began to write plays, novels, and a collection of children’s short stories and poems. His collection of short children’s stories would later become a part of the Winnie the Pooh books. Winnie the Pooh was published in 1926 followed by The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. A collection of nursery rhymes called The Wrong Sort of Bees was published in 1927.
The stories of Winnie the Pooh and friends were inspired by Milne’s son Christopher Robin and his toys. Christopher Robin had a stuffed bear called Edward, later renamed to Winnie after the military mascot in World War I. The rest of the characters were all Christopher Robin’s toys brought to life in the stories through the imagination of his father.
A.A. Milne died in January 1956, at the age of 74. His widow later sold her rights to Pooh and characters to Stephen Slesinger, whose widow sold the rights after Slesinger’s death to the Walt Disney Company who made many Pooh cartoon movies and Pooh related merchandise.
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