Charles Schulz has persevered through most of his life to ensure that Americans can laugh when they receive the news paper every morning. He worked every day through cancer and wars and even the death of his parents.
In a career that spanned nearly 50 years, Schulz drew more than 18,250 "Peanuts" comic strips, which expressed a droll philosophy through his trademark characters, including the hapless, angst-ridden Charlie Brown; Snoopy, a romantic, self-deluded beagle; piano-playing Schroeder; security-blanket toting Linus; and self-centered Lucy. No adult was ever pictured, though the garbled voice of a teacher or parent occasionally resonated in the background. In the beginning
"Peanuts" debuted in 1950 and went on to be the most widely read comic strip in the world, with an audience of 355 million in 75 countries. It ran in 2,600 newspapers and was published in 21 languages, including Serbo-Croatian, Chinese, and Tlingit.
In a tribute to Schulz, President Clinton said, "For 50 years his keen eye, his good and generous heart, and his active brush and pen have given life to the most memorable cast of characters to ever enliven our daily papers."
Schulz died the night before his last strip ran in Sunday papers. In his swan song, he included a signed farewell: "I have been grateful over the years for the loyalty of our editors and the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans of the comic strip."
Born to draw
Schulz was born on Nov. 26, 1922, in Minneapolis. He knew from an early age that he was destined to draw comics. As a child, he always had pen in hand. Schulz used the pen for illustrating, not homework, as he flunked several courses in high school. At age 15, Ripley's Believe It...