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Charles M. Schulz: Cartoonist & Creator of "Peanuts": Overview

Best Bets

Peanuts : the art of Charles M. SchulzGood Grief! The Story of Charles M. Schulz, by Rheta Grimsley Johnson.
New York: Pharos Books, 1989.
MNHS call number: Reading Room PN6727.S3 Z74 1989

Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography, by David Michaelis.
New York: Harper, c2007.
MNHS call number: NC1429.S43 M53 2007

Charlie Brown Autobiography Files
Includes manuscript paste-ups for Me and Charlie Brown, an autobiography of Charlie Brown that chronicles his family, childhood, coming of age, religious quest, and his acquaintance with Charles M. Schulz and its subsequent effect on his life. Also includes letters from Schulz to Charlie Brown and his editor, Virgil Burns, and a large photograph of Schulz giving a drawing of the character Charlie Brown to the real Charlie Brown.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me, and All the Other Peanuts Characters, by Charles M. Schulz with R. Smith Kiliper.
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, c1980.
MNHS call number: NC1429.S43 Ac 1980

 

Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, by Charles Schulz, edited and designed by Chip Kidd.
New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.
MNHS call number: NC1429.S43 P39 2001

Overview

Charles Monroe Schulz was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 26, 1922. Nicknamed "Sparky" by an uncle within days after his birth, Schulz was a quiet boy who had a fascination with comics like Popeye, Skippy and Mickey Mouse. He graduated from St. Paul's Central High School in 1940 and took a correspondence course with Federal School of Applied Cartooning to learn lettering, perspective, and the basics of cartooning.

Schulz served in the 20th Armored Division from 1943 until the end of World War II . He returned to St. Paul and was hired to do lettering for a Catholic comic magazine, Timeless Topix. Not long after, he became an instructor at the correspondence school, now called Art Instruction Schools.. It was there that Schulz developed his own cartooning style and worked with several colleagues who would later become the inspiration for certain Peanuts characters.

The first Peanuts strip debuted on October 2, 1950 in seven newspapers nationwide, including the MInneapolis Star-Tribune. Eventually, the strip would appear in over 2,600 newspapers worldwide. Some of Schulz's other works include Li'l Folks, a weekly comic he drew for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and It's Only a Game, drawn collaboratively with colleague Jim Sasseville.

The Peanuts phenomenon extended beyond newspapers to include books, animated television specials, theme parks, and a musical. Schulz received many awards during his career. He retired from drawing Peanuts in January, 2000 and passed away soon after on February 12, 2000 in Santa Rosa, California.

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Lisa Theisen

MNHS Reference Staff

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