77 (passed away Feb. 12th, 2000)
Nov. 26th, 1922
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
5' 11 1/2
Charles M. Schulz's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Career as cartoonist
Schulz's first regular cartoons, Li'l Folks, were published from 1947 to 1950 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press; he first used the name Charlie Brown for a character there, although he applied the name in four gags to three different boys and one buried in sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like Snoopy. In 1948, Schulz sold a cartoon to The Saturday Evening Post; the first of 17 single-panel cartoons by Schulz that would be published there. In 1948, Schulz tried to have Li'l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Schulz would have been an independent contractor for the syndicate, unheard of in the 1940s, but the deal fell through. Li'l Folks was dropped from the Pioneer Press in January, 1950.
Later that year, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with his best strips from Li'l Folks, and Peanuts made its first appearance on October 2, 1950. The strip became one of the most popular comic strips of all time. He also had a short-lived sports-oriented comic strip called It's Only a Game (1957–59), but he abandoned it due to the demands of the successful Peanuts. From 1956 to 1965 he contributed a single-panel strip ("Young Pillars") featuring teenagers to Youth, a publication associated with the Church of God.
Schulz receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Knott's Berry Farm in June 1996Charlie Brown, the principal character for Peanuts, was named after a co-worker at the Art Instruction School; Schulz drew much more inspiration from his own life:
Like Charlie Brown's parents, Schulz's father was a barber and his mother a housewife.
Schulz and Charlie Brown were shy and withdrawn.
Schulz had a dog when he was a boy, although unlike Snoopy the beagle, it was a pointer.
References to Snoopy's brother Spike living outside of Needles, California were likely influenced by the few years (1928–1930) that the Schulz family lived there; they had moved to Needles to join other family members who had relocated from Minnesota to tend to an ill cousin.
Schulz's "Little Red-Haired Girl" was Donna Johnson, an Art Instruction Schools accountant with whom he fell in love. When Schulz proposed to her, she turned him down and married another man.
Linus and Shermy were both named for good friends of his (Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler, respectively).
Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of his cousins on his mother's side.The name came from the candy "Peppermint Patty's."
The Charles M. Schulz Museum counts Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates) and Bill Mauldin as key influences on Schulz's work. In his own strip, Schulz regularly described Snoopy's annual Veterans Day visits with Mauldin, including mention of Mauldin's World War II cartoons.
Critics have also credited George Herriman (Krazy Kat), Roy Crane (Wash Tubbs), Elzie C. Segar (Thimble Theater) and Percy Crosby (Skippy) among Schulz's influences. However,
“ It would be impossible to narrow down three or two or even one direct influence on [Schulz's] personal drawing style. The uniqueness of Peanuts has set it apart for years... That one-of-kind quality permeates every aspect of the strip and very clearly extends to the drawing. It is purely his with no clear forerunners and no subsequent pretenders.
— Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz, Rheta Grimsley Johnson, p. 68 ”
- The day he died was also the day the last original Peanuts strip ran.
- He had a clause in his contract with United Features Syndicate that dictated that the "Peanuts" comic strip had to end with his death.
- World War II veteran.
- "Li'l Folks" (later "Peanuts") originally ran in the women's section of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The four original "Peanuts" characters were Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Patty (not Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt), and Shermy.
- He was promoted a couple of grades when he was in school, and this was the cause of his depression and anxiety; the older kids who were now his classmates were constantly teasing him because of his small size, which also fostered a deep competitive streak in him.
- Despite his poor health in later years, he refused to have ghostwriters draw "Peanuts." These strips are notable by the slight shakiness in the lines.
- His nickname, Sparky, comes from the horse in "Barney Google."
- Attended Richards Gordon Elementary School and St. Paul Central High School. Later, he enrolled in an extension class for cartooning with the University of Minnesota.
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