Minnesota Author Biographies.

Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz

From "He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown!" (1968) by Charles M. Schulz

"When it comes right down to it," he thought, as he stretched out under the bright blue sky, "dogs are born to sleep in the sun." -Snoopy

Biographical Notes

Birth: November 26, 1922, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Death: February 12, 2000, Santa Rosa, California

Cartoonist and author, Charles “Sparky” Monroe Schulz graduated from St. Paul Central High School in 1940. He studied cartooning with Federal Schools (currently, Art Instruction Schools, Inc.), a Minneapolis correspondence school, in the early 1940s. His studies were disrupted in 1943 when he was drafted into the army and sent to Europe. Schulz served in the Twentieth Armored Division from 1943-45. In 1946, he was hired to do lettering for Timeless Topix, a Catholic comic magazine. He was an instructor at the Art Instruction Schools from 1947 to the early 1950s. Schulz contributed fifteen cartoons to the Saturday Evening Post from 1948 to 1950. From 1947-1949, he drew the cartoon Li'l Folks for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 1950 he created the popular comic strip Peanuts, which was nationally syndicated and eventually appeared in more than two thousand newspapers worldwide. Some of the characters in the cartoon were based on real people Schulz met in Minnesota. Collections of his Peanuts cartoons were published in book form from 1952 on. The first television special using Peanuts characters, A Charlie Brown Christmas, appeared in 1965 with many television specials following. In addition, the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown has been produced numerous times since 1967. The popularity of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the other characters resulted in the international marketing of products featuring Peanuts characters from 1950 to today.

Schulz retired from drawing Peanuts in January, 2000. Following his retirement and subsequent death in February, 2000, Peanuts is being rerun in syndication, starting with strips originally drawn in 1974. Among his accomplishments are four full-length films, forty books, and thirty TV specials. The Peanuts comic strip has appeared in more than thirty thousand newspapers in forty languages in seventy-five countries, reaching 350 million readers daily.

Schulz won many awards including the Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society in 1955 and 1964, the Humorist of the Year Award from Yale University in 1958, the School Bell Award from the National Education Society in 1960, Emmy and Peabody awards for writing the children's television program A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), an Emmy award for writing the A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1974) television special, an Honorary L.H.D. from Anderson College in Indiana in 1963, and an Honorary L.H.D. from St. Mary's College in California in 1966.

Selected Works
The titles below link to the catalog record in MnPALS, the Minnesota Historical Society’s library catalog. Please click on your browser's back button to return.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown and Snoopy
The Complete Peanuts
Happiness is a Warm Puppy
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Li’l Beginnings
Peanuts: A Golden Celebration
Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others
Peanuts: The Art of Charles Schulz

Additional Resources

Minnesota Historical Society Links

• Search MNHS Library and Archives Catalog for author - Searches for works by this author in the Minnesota Historical Society’s library
150 Best Minnesota Books - Minnesota Historical Society blog entry on Schulz
Minnesota Historical Society Visual Resource Database
Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz by Rheta Grimsley Johnson
Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaelis

Web Links

Charles M. Schulz Museum
Illustration House (Gallery and Auction House) - Brief Schulz biography
American Masters Charles Schulz - Excerpts from the PBS documentary
New York Times: On This Day - Obituary

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