Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear, died at his Newbury home last week.

Mr Bond was 91 and had suffered a short illness, his publisher HarperCollins said in a statement.

They said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Michael Bond, CBE, the creator of one of Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, Paddington, died at home yesterday aged 91 following a short illness.”

Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, said: “I feel privileged to have been Michael Bond’s publisher – he was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers. He will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffle coat and wellington boots, which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations. My thoughts and love are with his wife, Sue and his children Karen and Anthony.”

HarperCollins CEO Charlie Redmayne said: “Michael Bond was one of the great children’s writers and at HarperCollins we are immensely fortunate to have published him and to have known him. He was a wonderful man and leaves behind one of the great literary legacies of our time.”

Bond’s bear was a character loved across many generations all around the world.

The writer himself became a beloved giant of children’s literature after his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958.

English author Bond wrote 150 books in total, with 25 additional stories about the marmalade-loving bear from Peru.

The author first came up with the idea for the small bear from Peru in 1956 while working as a BBC TV cameraman, an idea that led him to become known as one of the great children’s writers of his time, his books having been on shelves ever since the first one was published.

As well as the Paddington Bear series, Bond also wrote a children’s TV series called The Herbs, a series of books about a guinea pig called Olga da Polga – inspired by his own pet – and a string of novels for adults about a French detective called Monsieur Pamplemousse.

He also wrote various other titles including a guide to Paris.

Tributes have started pouring in for Bond following the news of his death.

Presenter Stephen Fry tweeted: “So sorry to hear that Michael Bond has departed. He was as kindly, dignified, charming & lovable as the immortal Paddington Bear he gave us.”

Children’s author and TV star David Walliams wrote: “I had the great pleasure of spending time with #MichaelBond A dazzling wit & perfect gentleman.

“On meeting him I realised he was #Paddington.”