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MN native who inspired a 'Peanuts' character has died

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The man who inspired a well-known comic strip character has died.

"Peanuts" character, Linus van Pelt, was named after cartoonist and Minnesota native Linus Maurer – who died Jan. 29 at the age of 90, according to the New York Daily News.

The news source says he had Parkinson's disease and heart trouble.

Maurer was from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, which is north west of Mankato. The town displays a statue of the cartoon Linus outside of the Dyckman Free Library.

The statue stands 62 inches tall and was signed by the man who inspired its character, the Mankato Times says. says the real Linus attended the Minneapolis School of Art and Design with Charles Schulz – who went on to create "Peanuts."

A post on the Charles M. Schulz Museum Facebook page says Linus' character came from a sketch Schulz made in class.

Mauer also authored several syndicated comics. He made "Old Harrigan" in the 1960s, "Abracadabra" in the 1970s and "In the Beginning," Sonoma News reports.

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