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Industry Pioneer Jerry Houle Passes at Age 76 image

Industry Pioneer Jerry Houle Passes at Age 76

Jerome (Jerry) Houle III, one of the pioneers of modern brand licensing and merchandising business, and one of eight founders of the world’s first professional licensing association which evolved into LIMA (now Licensing International), passed away on October 27 at age 76.

After stints at Fisher-Price and Milton Bradley, Jerry joined Jim Henson’s Muppets in March 1977 as its first marketing person and 25th employee. The MUPPET SHOW had launched the previous fall in 103 countries. Houle founded 7 divisions for the company, including worldwide licensing. In 1984, he founded his own agency, Bliss House, Inc., whose clients included Curious George, Chaplin, Monty Python, Princess Diana, General Motors, Survivor, Babar, among many others.

He also created and taught an MBA-level course on Licensing at Babson College, and spoke widely on licensing at events around the world.

He’s survived by his wife Margaret “Peggy” Houle;  sons Jerome L. Houle IV, William Fairfield Houle and James Lowther White Houle and their families, including six grandchildren; brothers Thomas Houle and Daniel Houle; and sisters Marybeth Donovan and Maureen Wiekert.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association – MA/NH Chapter is 309 Waverly Oaks Road Waltham, MA 02452. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit

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