Donald Levine, the Hasbro executive known as "the father of GI Joe" for developing the world's first action figure, has died at the age of 86.

His wife, Nan Levine, said he died of cancer at a hospice in Providence, Rhode Island. The couple had been about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Levine served in the army in Korea and said he got the idea for the moveable figure as a way to honour veterans. Over the decades, GI Joe has spawned comic books, cartoons, two films and a GI Joe Collector's Club with an annual convention.

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