James Maury "Jim" Henson was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, inventor, screenwriter, actor, film director and producer.
Born in Greenville, Mississippi and raised in Leland, Mississippi and Hyattsville, Maryland, he began developing puppets while attending high school.
While he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, he created Sam and Friends, a five-minute sketch-comedy puppet show that appeared on television.
After graduating from the University of Maryland, with a degree in home economics, he produced coffee advertisements and developed experimental films.
Feeling the need for more creative output, Henson founded Muppets, Inc., which would later become The Jim Henson Company, in 1958.
He became famous in the 1970s when he joined the children's educational television program Sesame Street, and there helped develop characters for the series.
He also appeared in the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
In 1976, after scrapping plans for a Broadway show, he produced The Muppet Show.
He won fame for his creations, particularly Kermit the Frog and Ernie, and he was involved with Sesame Street for over 20 years.