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In the News: Jim Henson and the Muppets
Jim Henson and the Muppets made the news in Scholastic News Edition 4 on October 31, 2005
By Alexandra Cale

Jim Henson and Kermit
Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, poses with one of his puppets, known as Kermit the Frog, in this February 1988 photo.
(Photo: AP Wide World)
Kermit the Frog is celebrating his 50th birthday with a set of stamps called Jim Henson: The Man Behind the Muppets. Each 11-stamp sheet will feature ten different Muppets and one stamp for their creator, Henson. They were released at a special ceremony last month in Los Angeles, California.

"Our father created wonderful characters that continue to be loved around the world. These stamps are also a tribute to his millions of fans who continue to support his work and believe in his vision," said Brian Henson, Jim's son.

Jim Henson was born in Mississippi in 1936. His love of imagination and entertainment started during childhood, and by the time he was in high school, Henson was performing Saturday mornings on a local Washington, D.C. TV station with his puppets. As a college freshman at the University of Maryland, he had his own five-minute TV show called "Sam and Friends" that aired twice daily. That show was where the first version of Kermit the Frog was born.

His unique puppets drew attention from television producers, and he began doing commercials for sponsors all across the country. In 1966 Henson was asked to work on a new educational children's TV show called "Sesame Street"—and over 35 years later, the show is still popular because of his contribution. Henson also created the popular TV show "Fraggle Rock" and produced six feature films starring the Muppets.

"On behalf of the Muppets, it is a great honor to be featured on our own set of stamps," said Kermit the Frog at the ceremony. "These commemorative stamps couldn't have come at a better time—to celebrate my 50th Anniversary, I'm hitting the road next month on a 50-stop World Tour. I'll need to send a lot of letters home to Miss Piggy if I want to stay in her good graces!"