The Reys were born in Hamburg, Germany. Hans Augusto Rey (1898-1977) met his wife-to-be, Margret (1906-1996), at a party in her father's home in Germany; when he first caught a glimpse of her, she was sliding down the banister. In their 20s and 30s they lived in Paris and in Rio de Janeiro, where Hans sold bathtubs in villages along the Amazon River. Eventually Cambridge, Massachusetts became the Reys' home and community. The manuscript of the first Curious George books was one of the few items the Reys carried with them on their bicycles when they escaped from Paris in 1940. Eventually, they made their way to the United States, and the first Curious George book was published in 1941.