Born in St. Paul on November 26, 1922, Schulz’s fascination with comic strips began early as he read the
Sunday comics from four different newspapers with his father each week. With encouragement from his father and mother, Schulz
enrolled in a correspondence course in cartooning at what is now the Art Instruction Schools, Inc., in Minneapolis. He became one of America’s
most endearing artists whose characters are recognized and empathized with all over the world.
Schulz passed away at age 77 Saturday,
February 12, 2000. The National Cartoonists Society was to honor Schulz with a lifetime achievement award
at their convention in New York on May 27. His last comic strip, appearing in Feb. 13 Sunday editions, showed
Snoopy at his typewriter and other Peanuts regulars along with a ‘Dear Friends’ letter thanking his readers for their support. In a television
interview on December 29, 1999 discussing his retirement, Schulz was brought to tears when he read his farewell letter.
In part, it reads: “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,” Schulz wrote. “Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus,
Lucy … how can I ever forget them …”. As with every comic strip he created, the letter ended with his signature.
His career in cartooning was interrupted in 1943 when he was drafted into the army and embarked for Europe.
Upon his return, Schulz landed his first job in cartooning at Timeless Topix, a Catholic comic magazine. Soon after, he took on a
second job teaching cartooning at Art Instruction, where he developed the characters Charlie Brown, Linus, and Freida, who later became
the PEANUTS® comic strip.
Schulz’s first big break came in 1947 when he sold a cartoon feature called “Li’l Folks” to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
In 1948 Schulz sold a cartoon panel to the Saturday Evening Post and would go on to sell 15 more panels between 1948-1950.
After mailbox upon mailbox full of rejections, Schulz boarded a train from St. Paul to New York with a handful
of drawings for a meeting with United Feature Syndicate in 1950. On October 2 of that year, PEANUTS®, named by United
Features, debuted in seven newspapers. Today PEANUTS® appears in over 2,600 papers worldwide, timeless icons for the
enjoyment of young and old alike.
In 1964, Schulz teamed up with animator Bill Melendez to create one of the most loved and watched televised specials of all
time -“A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
Melendez would later produce many animated productions with Schulz including, “Charlie Brown’s All Star’s” and “It’s the Great
Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” earning Melendez and Schulz the praise of both audiences and critics.
Schulz, unlike many cartoonists, drew every comic strip without the assistance of an art staff. Among
numerous honors, Schulz received two Reuben Awards from the National Cartoonists society in 1955 and again in 1964, and has been inducted into the Cartoonists
Hall of Fame. He was named as International Cartoonist Of The Year in 1978 by 700 cartoonists. His contribution to popular culture and the art of
America will be remembered for generations to come. How can we ever forget him…