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Charles Monroe Schulz

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Charles Monroe Schulz
Born:
November 26, 1922, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Died: February 12, 2000, Santa Rosa, California, US

Born in Minneapolis, Minn. on Nov. 26, 1922, Charles Monroe Schulz was the only child of Dena and Carl Schulz. From birth, comics played an important role in Schulz’s life.

Charles Monroe Schulz

At just two days old, an uncle nicknamed him Sparky after the horse Spark Plug from the Barney Google comic strip, and throughout his youth, he and his father shared a Sunday morning ritual reading the funnies. Schulz always knew he wanted to be a cartoonist and was very proud when Ripleys newspaper feature, Believe It or Not, published his drawing of the family dog in 1937.

Schulz put his artistic ambitions on hold during World War II while serving as a machine-gun squad leader, though he regularly sketched episodes of daily army life in his sketchbook. Following his discharge in 1945, Schulz returned to St. Paul to pursue a cartooning career.

Between 1947 and 1950, he drew a weekly comic panel for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and also sold seventeen comic gags to The Saturday Evening Post. After many rejection slips, Schulz finally realized his dream of creating a nationally-syndicated daily comic strip when Peanuts debuted in seven newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950. By 1965, Schulz was honored twice with the Reuben Award by the National Cartoonists Society for his talents, and Peanuts was an international success.

By the time Schulz announced his retirement in December 1999, Peanuts had been published in more than 2,600 newspapers worldwide. He died shortly thereafter on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2000, just hours before the final Peanuts Sunday strip appeared in newspapers. In August 2002, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, Calif. opened in his honor with the mission of preserving, displaying and interpreting the art of the legendary cartoonist.

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