BirthHargreaves was born in a private hospital at 201 Bath Road, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, England, to Alfred Reginald and Ethel Mary Hargreaves, and grew up in High Lees, 703 Halifax Road,also in Cleckheaton, outside of which there now is a commemorative plaque.
He spent a year working in his father's laundry and dry-cleaning business before starting out inadvertising. But his original ambition was to be a cartoonist; and, in 1971, while he was working as the creative director at a London firm, he wrote the first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle. He initially haddifficulty finding a publisher; but, once he did, the books became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years. In 1975 it spawned a BBC animated television series called Mr. MenShow, Mr Tickle being voiced by Arthur Lowe.
By 1976, Hargreaves had quit his day job. In 1981, the Little Miss series of books began to appear. It, too, was made into a television series in 1983,which was narrated by John Alderton, who, with Pauline Collins, voiced the Men and Misses, respectively. Although Hargreaves wrote many other children's stories, including the Timbuctoo series oftwenty-five books, John Mouse, and the Roundy and Squary books, he is best known for his 46 Mr. Men books and 33 Little Miss books.
Between 1979 and 1982 Hargreaves lived with his family inGuernsey. Then they settled at Sussex House Farm near Cowden, Kent. In 1988 Hargreaves died at the Kent and Sussex Hospital, Royal Tunbridge Wells, following a stroke. After his death his son Adam...