James Maury "Jim" Henson' (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, Imagineer, inventor, screenwriter, film director and producer, best known as the creator of The Muppets. As a puppeteer, Henson performed in various television programs, such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, films such as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, and created advanced puppets for projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. He was also an Academy Award-nominated film director (for his short film Time Piece), Emmy Award-winning television producer, and the founder of The Jim Henson Company, the Jim Henson Foundation, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Henson died on May 16, 1990, of organ failure resulting from a Group A streptococcal infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes.
Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi, and raised in Leland, Mississippi and Hyattsville, Maryland. He was educated at University of Maryland, College Park, where he created Sam and Friends as a freshman. After suffering struggles with programs that he created, he eventually found success with Sesame Street. During this time, he also contributed to Saturday Night Live. The success of Sesame Street spawned The Muppet Show, which featured Muppets created by Henson. He also co-created with Michael Jacobs the television show Dinosaurs during his final years.