Jim Henson, Northwestern Alum

Jim Henson was born James Maury Henson on September 24, 1936, in Greenville, Mississippi. At a young age, Henson was drawn to the arts. His maternal grandmother, a painter, quilter and needleworker, encouraged his creative passions, including his puppetry. Well before his teen years, Henson was performing puppetry for audiences, including his fellow Cub Scouts. His youth was also spent toying with different visual mediums, including television, which he adored. A major influence of his childhood was TV puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, of the show Kukla, Fran and Ollie.         

 Jim actually made quite a name for himself as an artist at Northwestern High School, with cartoons published in student publications and posters promoting school drama productions. In fact, if you look at his posters for Northwestern’s school plays, you’ll see “Muppet sensibility” in his sense of design.  Jim Henson attended University of Maryland where his talent was quickly recognized and his television career began.  Find out more about Jim Henson at www.JimHensonLegacy.org


Subpages (1): Jim Henson Scholarship