Charles M. Schulz, born on November 26, 1922, was a famous cartoonist. His work preceded him and he was recognized and praised widely. He was especially known for his creation of “Peanuts,” a comic strip that featured the characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy. He is considered among the most influential cartoonists of his generation to date. He paved the way for other famous cartoonists to believe in themselves enough and publicize their work. Schulz’s first work was published in 1947 with him doing four one-panel drawings per issue. We are immensely humbled to celebrate him today.
Charles Monroe Schulz
November 26, 1922
February 12, 2000 (age 77)
Charles M. Schulz is one of the greatest artists to ever live. He was a celebrated cartoonist as well as a role model to many others. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was born to Carl Schulz and Dena Halverson and was their only child. He grew up in Saint Paul. The nickname “Sparky” was started by his uncle referring to a horse in “Barney Google,” a comic strip by Billy DeBeck which was known as Spark Plug. His interest in art and drawing started at an early age. He would regularly draw his family dog, which was known as Spike. He once drew Spike in 1937 and sent the drawing to “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” His drawing was featured on Robert Ripley’s edited panel with the caption that said, “A hunting dog that eats pins, tacks, and razor blades is owned by C. F. Schulz, St. Paul, Minn.” as well as “Drawn by Sparky.”
He went to Richards Gordon Elementary School in Saint Paul. He later moved to Central High School, where he was timid as he was the youngest in his class. While in high school, his drawing got rejected by his high school yearbook, a story he narrates in “Peanuts” later on. 60 years later, the school erected a five-foot-tall statue of Snoopy at the school’s main office. Schulz’s first work was published in 1947 with him doing four one-panel drawings per issue. It consisted of a weekly series of one-panel jokes known as “Li’l Folks.” His work was published in the “St. Paul Pioneer Press.” The name Charlie Brown originated from “Li’l Folks” and stuck. There was also a dog similar to Snoopy in the series. His career started to take off when he sold his first one-panel art to “The Saturday Evening Post” in 1948 and within the next two years, his work had become a regular feature.
In 1950, he approached United Feature Syndicate with “Li’l Folks” and their interest was piqued. During that time, he had also created another comic strip, using four panels rather than one and the syndicate liked that one better. They however had to change the name to “Peanuts” due to legal reasons. In 1950, “Peanuts” made its debut in seven newspapers. It gradually became the most sought-after as well as the most influential comic strip of all time. In 1956, he worked on the gag cartoon, “Young Pillars,” which featured teenagers, for the publication “Youth.” In 1957, he provided illustrations on two volumes of Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” In 1964, he published a collection of letters, “Dear President Johnson,” with Bill Adler. “Peanuts” went on to be published daily in 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries, in 21 languages.
Charles M. Schulz draws a picture of his family dog, Spike, and sends it to “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”
His first major cartoon, a weekly series of one-panel jokes known as “Li’’l Folks,” is published in the “St. Paul Pioneer Press.”
Schulz sells his first one-panel artwork to “The Saturday Evening Post.”
He debuts “Peanuts” in seven newspapers.
He illustrates two volumes of Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”
Why We Love Charles Schulz
He was a sportsman
Schulz loved sports, and especially enjoyed hockey. Being so passionate about the sport led him to host the first Over 75 Hockey Tournament. Ramsey County was renamed the Highland Park Ice Arena in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena in his honor.
He was a trendsetter
Schulz is considered one of the most influential cartoonists of his generation to date. He paved the way for other famous cartoonists to believe in themselves enough and publicize their work.
He was a hard worker
Schulz eventually wrote approximately 18,000 comic strips. He never hired an assistant to help him but did everything himself. He also took only one vacation throughout his career, which was a five-week break, and was to celebrate his 75th birthday.
5 Surprising Facts
He skipped two half-grades
While in elementary school at Saint Paul, Schulz skipped two half-grades.
He served in World War II
Schulz served during World War II but surprisingly never fired his weapon.
He disliked the name “Peanuts”
Schulz never liked the name “Peanuts” and felt it had no dignity.
Snoopy was almost Sniffy
Schulz initially wanted to name Snoopy’s character Sniffy but realized it was already used in another comic strip.
He named characters after his friends
Most of the “Peanuts” characters were named after his friends including Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler.
Charles Schulz FAQs
What made Charles M. Schulz's work unique?
Schulz drew on his own experiences.
Is Snoopy a boy or a girl?
Snoopy is male.
Was Charlie M. Schulz religious?
Schulz never hid his personal religious commitment. He was a member and Sunday School teacher in the Church of God.
Charles Schulz’s birthday dates