Donald Levine creator of the world's first action figure G.I. Joe died of cancer on 24 May 2014. He was 86. He was the Hasbro executive credited as the father of G.I. Joe.
Levine developed the toy when he was Hasbro's head of research and development. Levine had also served in the Army in Korea.
He and his team came up with an 11½-inch articulated figure with 21 moving parts. Since the company's employees included many military veterans, it was decided to outfit the toy in the uniforms of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, with such accessories as guns, helmets and vehicles.
G.I. Joe hit the market during the 1964 Christmas shopping season and soon became a big seller at 4 US dollar a piece.
G.I. Joe is a line of action figures produced by the toy company Hasbro. The term G.I. stands for Government Issued and after the First World War became a generic term for U.S. soldiers.
G.I. Joe was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York, in 2003.