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Jean de Brunhoff (December 9, 1899October 16, 1937) was a Frenchmarker writer and illustrator known for co-creating Babar, which first appeared in 1931. The stories were originally told to their second son, Mathieu, when he was sick, by his wife Cecile de Brunhoff. After its first appearance, six more titles followed authored by Jean de Brunhoff.He was the fourth and last child of Maurice de Brunhoff, a successful publisher, and his wife Marguerite. He attended Protestant schools, including the prestigious L'Ecole Alsacienne. Brunhoff joined the army and reached the front lines when World War I was almost over. Afterwards, he decided to be a professional artist and studied painting at Academie de la Grand Chamiere. He married Ceccile Sabourand, a talented pianist from a Catholic family, in 1924.

Brunhoff died of tuberculosis at the age of 37. After his death, Hachette bought the printing and publishing rights to the Babar series, and Jean's son, Laurent de Brunhoff, took on his late father's role of illustrating the books. The first seven Babar albums were reprinted and millions of copies were sold all around the world, but they were all abridged; they had 30 pages instead of the original 48.The Babar books are thought to be a way for Brunhoff to share himself with his family. Ten years later, his eldest son Laurent revived the series. Many people did not notice the 10 year gap, as Laurent also showed exceptional talent in drawing elephants.De Brunhoff and his wife are buried in the Père Lachaisemarker cemetery in Parismarker.


  • A.B.C. of Babar. New York: Random House, 1936.
  • Babar and Father Christmas. New York: Random House, 1940.
  • Babar and His Children. New York: Random House, 1938.
  • Babar the King. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1935.
  • The Story of Babar. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1934.
  • The Travels of Babar. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1934.
  • Zephir's Holidays. New York: Random House, 1937.

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