Born in Bradford, Pennsylvania on February 10, 1924, Peterson grew up and graduated from high school. Afterwards he enrolled at Pratt Institute but left part-way through his art studies to volunteer for the military. Peterson served his country as a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division for three years during World War II and was involved in combat in the Philippine Islands. When he returned from war, he continued his schooling, graduating from Pratt Institute in New York.
For employment, Peterson worked as a free-lance illustrator in advertising and contributed to magazines and textbooks. This served him and his family well for over twenty years, yet Peterson yearned to illustrate children's books. Deciding to write a book himself and then illustrate it, he asked his wife Holly to help him. Together they produced Terry's Treasure Hunt, and Peterson decided he liked the writing part of the process better than the illustrating part. He continued doing both writing and drawing, though, with books such as The Secret Hide-Out and Enemies of the Secret Hide-Out. These titles brought much recognition to Peterson, and then he started penning The Littles.
The fourteen book series was extremely popular and remains so today. From the books came a Saturday morning cartoon and two animated films. Peterson traveled all over the U.S., speaking in 34 states and giving a slide show. A man who gave of himself for children, Peterson will be remembered for a variety of contributions, including his books, his service to the Boy Scouts as a volunteer and the one who planned and directed a day camp for Cub Scouts in New York, and for the Sunday school curriculum that Holly and he developed and taught. At seventy-eight years of age, Peterson passed away in November 2002.
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