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Morris Michtom (1870 – July 21, 1938),[1][2] was a Russian-born businessman and inventor, who with his wife Rose, invented the teddy bear in 1902.[3] They founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, which after Michtom's death became the largest doll-making company in the United States.

Morris Michtom
Born 1870
Died July 21, 1938(1938-07-21) (aged 67–68)
Nationality American
Occupation Inventor, businessman
Spouse(s) Rose
Children Emily (1897-1986)
A 1902 political cartoon in The Washington Post spawned the teddy bear name.



Michtom was born to a Jewish family[4][3] and immigrated to New York in 1887. He sold candy in his shop at 404 Tompkins Avenue[5] in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn by day and made stuffed animals with his wife Rose at night.

The teddy bear was inspired by a cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman depicting American president Theodore Roosevelt having compassion for a bear at the end of an unsuccessful hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902, he was also later nicknamed "Teddy". Michtom saw the drawing and created a tiny plush bear cub which he sent to Roosevelt. After receiving permission to use Roosevelt's name,[6] Michtom put a plush bear in the shop window with a sign "Teddy's bear." After the creation of the bear in 1902, the sale of the bears was so brisk that in 1907 Michtom created the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Morris' daughter Rose was an actress who appeared as an extra in over 40 episodes of the TV series Get Smart, which was produced by her nephew Leonard Stern, and also worked in business.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Stephanie Bernardo Johns (1981). The ethnic almanac. Doubleday. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-385-14143-7. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  2. ^ The Rubber age. Palmerton Pub. Co. 1938. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Rose and Morris Michtom and the Invention of the Teddy Bear". American Jewish Historical Society. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Lawrence J. Epstein (2007). "At the Edge of a Dream: The Story of Jewish Immigrants on New York's Lower East Side, 1880-1920". p. 138. 
  5. ^ SAVE BEDFORD STUYVESANT: The Teddy Bear was born in Bedford Stuyvesant. (2009-04-02). Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  6. ^ "Teddy Bears". Library Of Congress. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  7. ^ True story of the Teddy Bear by The Theodore Roosevelt Association. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.