Charles Schulz, Creator of Peanuts
We've all seen Charlie Brown. He's on TV around Christmas time in A Charlie Brown Christmas, in comic books and of course, the Sunday Funnies. Who was the man behind the boy who never had any luck on the baseball field or with the girls?
Charles M. Schulz always knew he'd be a daily comic strip artist. In fact, a teacher even told him he was going to be an artist someday. When he went to art school in Minneapolis, Charles was a shy and insecure student. He struggled through the course and only earned a C+ in "Drawing of Children."
As soon as Charles Schulz completed the course he was drafted into World War II where he became an infantryman, a staff sergeant and the leader of a machine-gun squad. He never gave up drawing and he always had time to decorate soldiers' letters home with cartoons.
When Charles Schulz returned from the war, a small Roman Catholic magazine, Timeless Topix, offered him his first job in cartooning. He also took another job as a teacher where he met a friend named Charlie Brown and a girl with red hair who broke his heart. Charles never stopped looking for work doing comics and he eventually had some of his work sold in the Saturday Evening Post.
The comic soon became a comic strip and was renamed PEANUTS, which Charles Schulz didn't like too much. The name stuck though and so did its main character Charlie Brown.
In December 1999, Charles Schulz decided to retire after he found out he had colon cancer. On February 17, 2000, Charles died only hours before his last original PEANUTS strip appeared in Sunday newspapers. PEANUTS is one of the most successful newspaper comic strips. It's laughed at in 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries and translated into 21 languages.