Brown was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1946. After attending the Cleveland Institute of Art, he illustrated a number of books for Houghton and Mifflin Publishing before writing his own stories.
Arthur was created one night as a bedtime story for Brown's son, Tolon, who wanted a story about an unusual animal. Brown thought of an aardvark, and the rest is history. Brown often uses his personal experiences from grade school to develop his stories. He bases many of his characters on actual people, including his grandma, Thora.
Brown has three children and lives in Hingham, Massachusettes with his wife, Laurie.
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