What You Didn’t Know About Curious George

Alexis Witkowski, Staff Writer

For me, Curious George was an integral part of my childhood, and even if you didn’t watch it, I’m sure you’re at least familiar with the childhood show that influenced many young minds. However, what may be new knowledge to you is that the character was created while the world was quickly falling apart.

Curious George’s Jewish creators Margret and H.A. Ray escaped from the Nazis while bringing their unpublished work with them wherever they went. In June 1940, millions of people, including the Rays, were booking train tickets south to escape from impending doom as Hitler’s troops were closing in on the city of Paris. Since they weren’t able to get a ticket and didn’t have a car, H.A. Ray crafted two bikes he and his wife could use to flee. In the 2005 book, “The Journey That Saved Curious George,” the scenario is recreated. However, before they fled from Paris, the storybook papers the character we know as Curious George was actually called Fifi. At various checkpoints during their escape, the Rays were compelled to share their unpublished work to prove to others that they meant no harm and weren’t dangerous. In 1941, Fifi transformed into the widely-loved Curious George. Later that year, Houghton Mifflin published the first of many Curious George books that would to entertain generations. Curious George also made  his TV debut on the animated series by PBS in 2006. Unfortunately, in 1977, H.A. Ray passed away, and, in 1996, Margret Ray passed away.

They will always be remembered and are to be commemorated in the upcoming documentary to come August 15, 2020, titled Monkey Business: The Story of Curious George’s Creators available online, and on-demand.