Donald Levine

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Donald Levine
Born1928 (1928)
DiedMay 22, 2014(2014-05-22) (aged 85–86)
OccupationExecutive of Hasbro
Known forCreator of GI Joe

Don Levine (1928 – May 22, 2014) was a business executive at toy manufacturers Hasbro credited as the "father" of G.I. Joe action figures.[1]

As Hasbro's head of research and development, Levine guided G.I. Joe through its design and development. Levine served with the United States Army in the Korean War and Hasbro's employees also included many military veterans, so it was decided the toy should be outfitted in the uniforms of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force and their respective accessories.[1]

In 2005-2006, Levine designed and manufactured an action figure of Osama bin Laden for a Central Intelligence Agency psychological warfare program called Devil Eyes. Levine developed a twelve-inch lifelike figure whose face was painted with a material that, when heated, would peel off to reveal a demon-like visage with green eyes and black markings. When asked in 2014 about Levine's involvement in the program, his family said in a statement, "Don Levine was a dedicated Patriot, and proud Korean War veteran. When called on, he was honored to assist our country."[2]

In 2014 Levine died from cancer at a Providence, Rhode Island hospice. He is survived by Nan, his wife of nearly 60 years. They have three children and four grandchildren.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Don Levine, Hasbro exec who helped create GI Joe, dies May 24, 2014 AP
  2. ^ Goldman, Adam (June 19, 2014). "CIA hatched plan to make demon toy to counter Osama bin Laden's influence". The Washington Post.