The best known Iranian writer of children's stories
Samad Behrangi was born in the Cherendab district of Tabriz in 1939, Azerbaijan province. He received his early education in Tabriz and graduated from high school in 1957 and at the same year started teaching in village schools in the Azar Shahr district, about 50 kilometers southwest of Tabriz, which he continued for eleven years.
He was fascinated with Azeri folk tales and his first book, published in 1965, was a collection of several such stories that he had translated into Persian. That work brought him to the attention of literary circles in Tehran. The subsequent publication of an essay on educational problems, several original children's stories dealing realistically with social issues, and a second volume of Azeri folktales established his reputation as a rising star among a new generation of writers.
Behrangi was only twenty-nine when drowned in a swimming accident in Aras River in September 1968. It is commonly believed that SAVAK, Shah’s security service, was behind this accident. At the time, his most famous children's stories, including "Ma’hi-e Sia’he Kochoulou" (The Little Black Fish), his most famous work, were at the press; they were published posthumously. Later in 1969, "24 Sa'at Dar Khab Va Bidary" (24 Restless Hours) and "Yek Hulou, Yek Hezar Hulou" (One Peach, A Thousand Peaches), two of his other works were published.
Behrangi was a critique of both contents and methodology of the state-sponsored textbooks and curriculum. He believed the entire educational system is outdated and alien to the Iranian children and in particular the rural children.
Behrangi’s popularity continued even after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. His single stories, often illustrated by noted artists, appeared regularly throughout the 1980's and 1990's. Behrangi’s stories and folktales also were translated into Azeri.