Thursday, June 9, 2011
I'd imagine that if I invented a book series that sold over 100 million copies worldwide, hands down that would be hands down the highlight of my obituary. Instead, Leonard Stern had an amazing career in film and televison, starting out writing jokes for Milton Berle at the age of 16 before writing dozens of films and serving on the staff of a number of shows during the early years of television.
Still, while that would probably a full career for most people, Leonard Stern then invented Mad Libs, the classic road trip entertainment product. Remarkably, when he first pitched the idea to publishers, they rejected the concept because it was too much like a game. Likewise, game makers didn't want to sign on to something too much like a book. Stern created his own publisher and likely had the last laugh, especially after Mad Libs made Price Stern Sloan one of the country's largest trade publishers.
[Adjective describing a person] [occupation] Leonard Stern, best known for writing [adjective] books and [adjective] movies, died [adverb] in [city] at the age of [number] on [day of the week].