Levine, Hasbro exec who helped create GI Joe, dies - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Levine, Hasbro exec who helped create GI Joe, dies

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By The Associated Press/WLNE


, R.I.
(AP) _ The Hasbro executive credited as the father of G.I. Joe for developing the world's first action figure has died. Donald Levine was 86.

His wife, Nan Levine, says he died of cancer early Thursday at Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island. She says they were just about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Don Levine served in the Army in Korea and has said he got the idea for the moveable figure as a way to honor veterans.

G.I. Joe was elected into Toy Hall of Fame in 2004, six years after Barbie was enshrined.                

Over the decades, G.I. Joe has spawned comic books, cartoons, two movies starring Channing Tatum, and a G.I. Joe Collector's Club and its annual convention-- GIJoeCon-- held in Dallas in April.

Hasbro has released a statement regarding his passing; 

"We're deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Don Levine. Don's influence on the toy industry was profound as he led the Hasbro team that developed the concept of the "action figure." His work forever changed the way kids play with toys, and in particular helped birth the G.I. Joe brand which has been a part of the American fabric for 50 years. Don will be dearly missed by his many friends and fans. We offer our condolences to his family at this difficult time."

(C) The Associated Press/WLNE 2014
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