Hans Augusto Rey was born on September 16, 1898 in Hamburg, Germany. He escaped to Paris with his wife after the Nazi's invaded. While in Paris, Hans's animal drawings came to the attention of French publisher, who commissioned him to write a children's book. The result, Rafi and the Nine Monkeys, is little remembered today, but one of its characters, an adorably impish monkey named Curious George, was such a success that the couple considered writing a book just about him. Their work was interrupted with the outbreak of World War II. As Jews, the Reys decided to flee Paris before the Nazis seized the city. Hans built two bicycles, and they fled Paris just a few hours before it fell. Among the meager possessions they brought with them was the illustrated manuscript of Curious George. The books were published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941. Curious George was an instant success, and the Reys were commissioned to write more adventures of the mischievous monkey and his friend, the Man in the Yellow Hat. They wrote seven stories in all. Their title Happy Halloween made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013. At first, Margret's name was left off the cover because there was a glut of women already writing children's fiction. In later editions, this was corrected, and Margret now receives full credit for her role in developing the stories. H. A. Rey died in 1977 and in 1989 Margaret Rey established the Curious George Foundation to help creative children and prevent cruelty to animals.