G.I. Joe Developer Donald Levine Passes Away

G.I. Joe Retaliation Movie 2012

Donald Levine, the Hasbro executive credited as the "father of G.I. Joe" for developing the world's first action figure, passed away Thursday at the age of 86. The Associated Press reports that Levine died of cancer at Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island. He and his wife Nan were about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Many news outlets are jumping on coverage of Levine's passing as part of their Memorial Day coverage since Levine, a naval veteran from the Korean War, reportedly developed G.I. Joe in part as a tribute to veterans. The first G.I. Joe hit the shelves in time for the 1964 Christmas shopping season, and was reinvigorated in the 1980s by an animated series and a new format that gave the G.I. Joe figures new personalities, colorful code names and outfits. The property currently exists as a film franchise.