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Subject: ARCHIVE: February 12, 2000 ~It's now 20 years since Charles Schultz, cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Peanuts (which featured the characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy, among others), regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, dies at 77. ...

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Date Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 02:39:30pm

Charles Monroe "Sparky" Schulz
(November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000)

American cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Peanuts (which featured the characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy, among others). He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, cited by cartoonists including Jim Davis, Bill Watterson, Matt Groening, Dav Pilkey and Stephan Pastis.

He was born Charles Monroe Schulz on November 26, 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and within days of his birth he acquired the nickname Sparky after the racehorse, Spark Plug, seen in the comic strip, 'Barney Google.' In 1934, the family acquired a dog, Spike, he would become the inspiration for Snoopy in later years. A 1937 drawing of Spike, reproduced in the nationally syndicated 'Ripley’s Believe it or Not' newspaper feature, was his first published work. After high school, he completed a correspondence course with the Federal School of Applied Cartooning (Art Instruction Schools). He was drafted in 1942, and was assigned to Company B in the Eighth Armored Battalion of the Twentieth Armored Infantry Division. By 1944, he was promoted to sergeant, leader of a light machine gun squad. He was discharged in January 1946. For the next five years, he worked as an instructor at Art Instruction Schools. His first published comic strip, 'Just Keep Laughing,' appeared in Topix comic book in February 1947. 'Sparky’s Li’l Folks' appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune that same year. He sold 'Li’l Folks' to United Feature Syndicate in 1950 for national syndication, but due to title issues with another work, the syndicate renamed the strip 'Peanuts' despite the author's objection. The strip debuted in October of that year in seven newspapers across the US.

In January 1952, the first Sunday full color 'Peanuts' strip debuted. The popularity of the strip increased quickly, 'Peanuts' comic books appeared in 1952, and would be produced through 1964. Reprints of daily strips were compiled and sold as 'Peanuts' collections. He won the Reuben award for 'Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year' from the National Cartoonists Society in 1955. In 1958, dolls of the Peanuts characters first appeared, they were also then licensed for advertising copy, and in Hallmark greeting cards by 1960. Books featuring the 'Peanuts' such as 'Happiness is a Warm Puppy' began appearing in 1962. He became the first person ever to receive a second Reuben award in 1964. The now classic, 'A Charlie Brown Christmas,' which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program, premiered in December 1965 as the first 'Peanuts' animated television special. Others would later appear including;, 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,' and 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.' In 1968, NASA astronauts named the Apollo 10 command module 'Charlie Brown,' and the lunar module, 'Snoopy.'

...A Snoopy balloon debuted in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City that year. A Snoopy or Charlie Brown balloon has been included each year since. The feature film, 'A Boy Named Charlie Brown' premiered the following year. The popularity of the strip never seemed to wane, numerous shows, parks, exhibits, fashion, and events featuring his characters continued to appear. In 1980, the National Cartoonist Society awarded him the Elzie Segar Award for outstanding contributions to the art of cartooning. In 1990, the French Minister of Culture presented him, Commandeur de l’Ordre Des Artes et Lettres, and in 1992, he received the Italian, Commendatore Della Repubblica Italiana. In December 1999, he announced his retirement. His characters were at that time seen in over 2,600 newspapers worldwide, and in published collections translated into 25 languages. He succumbed to complications from colon cancer two months later.

He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd, and the Charles M. Schulz
Museum and Research Center opened in 2002. He was interred at Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Sebastopol, CA. …

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Subject Author Date
February 12, 2000 was quite the notables death day -not three, but FOUR passed hours apart from one another ...RIPWednesday, February 12, 02:55:44pm

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