Best known for creating the widely popular Arthur series, Marc Brown is an acclaimed children’s book author who has enjoyed worldwide success. Arthur, the likable aardvark character featured in the books, is also the star of the companion PBS television series, which is broadcast in more than 60 countries.
Marc was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and was a student at Lakewood Elementary. His childhood experiences would later serve as the inspiration for the setting and story lines of the Arthur series. Marc’s passion for drawing emerged at an early age. After contributing illustrations to the school paper in junior high, Marc went on to attend art school with financial assistance from his grandmother, who supported his goals to become a professional illustrator.
After earning a degree in painting from the Cleveland Art Institute, Marc held several different jobs, spending time as a cook, truck driver, art director, actor, and college professor. Through it all, he nursed an aspiration to pursue his illustrating endeavors full-time. While concocting a bedtime story for his five-year-old son, Marc came up with the character of Arthur, an aardvark with the now-famous glasses and long nose. The first book in the series, Arthur’s Nose, was published in 1976. Later, he wrote the popular Arthur Tricks the Tooth Fairy and Arthur's Reading Race.
The Arthur series took off quickly, with the agreeable aardvark winning over the hearts and imaginations of preschool and grade-school readers around the world. Marc continued to write and illustrate Arthur books from the barn behind his house. The Arthur television series debuted on PBS in 1995, with Marc serving as executive producer. Today, the show draws in millions of viewers each week and has spurred a skyrocket in book sales. Marc attributes the series’ success to the real-world topics, noting that Arthur is “dealing with the same issues that [kids are] dealing with in their lives.”
Marc lives in Massachusetts, with his wife, Laurie Krasny Brown, who is also an author and illustrator.