Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1922, artist Charles Monroe Schulz lived an extraordinary life thanks to his comic strip, Peanuts, which made its first appearance in 1950. Indeed, Schulz’s legacy is formidable – he is thought of as one of history’s most influential cartoonists. Contemporary illustrators such as Calvin and Hobbes-man Bill Watterson, Jim Garfield Davis and Simpsons creator Matt Groening all cite the pen behind Peanuts as an influence. And, as we shall see, his life was intertwined with those of his famous characters, such as Charlie Brown and Snoopy, until the cartoonist drew his last breath in 2000.
19. Schulz thought nuts to the name Peanuts
Before his characters made it big in Peanuts, Schulz was producing newspaper comic strips under the title Lil’ Folks. But, after three years of struggling to land a permanent slot in his local St. Paul Pioneer Press paper, he sold the comics to United Feature Syndicate in 1950. The editorial and comic strip syndication service promptly renamed the series Peanuts. However, Schulz wasn’t happy with the change, telling Time magazine in 1965, “I wanted a strip with dignity and significance. Peanuts made it sound too insignificant.”
18. He out-stripped the competition
If you thought your work rate was impressive, take a look at Schulz’s legacy. Indeed, by the time he retired, the legendary cartoonist had hand-drawn a whopping 17,897 Peanuts strips. He would initially draw them in black ink, then use a color chart to painstakingly label his desired print colors for each cartoon. In all, he created 15,391 daily strips, with the other 2,506 running in Sunday titles.