Eduard Uspensky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eduard Uspensky
Eduard Uspensky 2.jpg
BornEduard Nikolayevich Uspensky
(1937-12-22)22 December 1937
Yegoryevsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died14 August 2018(2018-08-14) (aged 80)
Moscow, Russia
Occupationnovelist, presenter
Alma materMoscow Aviation Institute
GenreChildren's literature

Eduard Nikolayevich Uspensky (Russian: Эдуард Николаевич Успенский; 22 December 1937 – 14 August 2018) was a Russian children's writer and poet, author of over 70 books, as well as a playwright, screenwriter and TV presenter. His works have been translated into 25 languages and spawned around 60 cartoon adaptations.[1][2] Among the characters he created are Cheburashka and Crocodile Gena, Uncle Fyodor and Kolobki brothers. He was awarded IV Class Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" in 1997.


Uspensky was born in Yegoryevsk, in Moscow Oblast into a Russian family.[3] His father Nikolai Mikhailovich Uspensky came from the city of Yelets and was a distant relative of Tikhon Khrennikov. He served as a high-ranking official in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Eduard's mother Natalia Alexeevna Uspenskaya (nee Dzurova) was an engineering technologist from Vyshny Volochyok. She came from a merchantry social estate. Her paternal ancestors were Poles who were resettled in Russia after one of the Polish uprisings.[4][5]

In 1941 with the start of the war the family was evacuated to Siberia where they spent two years. They returned to Moscow later on. After graduating as an engineer, Uspensky earned his living by writing and producing animations.

Besides writing and producing, Uspensky has enjoyed a professional role as a long-lasting figure in radio and television. He was among the founders of the longest-running Russian children's TV show Good Night, Little Ones![6] and the popular radio programme Radio Nanny produced with the aim of featuring songs and humorous dialogue as integral elements of an educational radio programme explaining concepts in grammar, mathematics, scientific subjects, and courteous behaviour to children.

From 1991 to 2016 he hosted the musical TV and radio talk show Ships Used to Enter Our Harbour where he and his guests recollected the so-called street folklore, which included Russian chanson and blatnaya pesnya. The songs were performed by both professional and amateur singers, politicians, actors and people of various occupations.[7]

In addition to children's books, Uspensky's creative output also includes plays and poems.


Uspensky died of cancer on 14 August 2018 in his country house (Puchkovo village, part of Moscow's Troitsky Administrative Okrug).[8] He was buried at the Troyekurovskoye Cemetery, plot 21.

Uspensky's work in literature[edit]

Uspensky's first book about Uncle Fyodor, Uncle Fyodor, His Dog and His Cat, was first published in Russian in 1974. The main character is a six-year-old boy who is referred to as 'Uncle Fyodor' because he appears serious-minded, self-reliant and responsible. After his parents don't let him keep Matroskin, a talking cat, Uncle Fyodor leaves his home. With the dog Sharik, the three set up a home in the country, a village called Prostokvashino (Простоквашино, from the Russian for buttermilk, Простоквашa). After finding a treasure, Uncle Fyodor can afford to buy a tractor that runs on soup and potatoes, and a portable sun to do the heating during the winter. The book was made into a successful animated film, Three from Prostokvashino (and its two sequels). Uspensky continued with Uncle Fyodor in other books which have not, however, been as successful.

Selected books[edit]

Selected screenplays[edit]


  1. ^ "Uspenskiĭ, Ė (Ėduard)". WorldCat Identities. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  2. ^ Biography at the personal site
  3. ^ "Mikhalkov's clan called me "the head of the Zionist nest" because I helped Jewish writers, Grigoriy Oster, for example. Despite I'm Russian" // interview by Argumenty i Fakty № 34, August 22, 2001 (in Russian)
  4. ^ Hannu Mäkelä (2014). Edik. An Adventure Into the World of the Children's Writer Eduard Uspensky. Moscow: AST, 448 pages. ISBN 978-5-17-080593-8
  5. ^ USPENSKY Eduard Nikolayevich at the International United Biographical Center (1996-2016) (in Russian)
  6. ^ Good Night, Little Ones! by RIA Novosti, September 1, 2014 (in Russian)
  7. ^ Description, texts and archive at the official site (in Russian)
  8. ^ Eduard Uspensky, Creator of Soviet Cartoons, Dies at 80 by The Hollywood Reporter, 15 August 2018

External links[edit]