On this day in 2000 ...


Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz dies in Santa Rosa, California.

Born in Minneapolis in 1922, Schulz would attend St. Paul Central High School before being drafted to serve in World War II.

Upon his return to Minneapolis, he would work for Roman Catholic comic magazine "Timeless Topix", and proceed to take a position at Art Instruction Inc. a year later.

Schulz career as a cartoonist ran concurrent to his time at Art Instruction Inc., as he was first published in the Pioneer Press in 1947 with "Li'l Folks", a weekly series of one-panel jokes featuring, at times, a young boy and his dog.

After the St. Paul paper dropped "Li'l Folks" in 1950, Schulz penned "Peanuts", a carton strip featuring Charlie Brown and dog named Snoopy.

On October 2, 1950, the strip would appear in seven newspapers, a number which would grow to 2,600 at the height of the success of the Schulz cornerstone work.

"Peanuts" would be run in 21 different languages in 75 countries, and would produce over $1 billion in revenue during its peak.

His works would expand to television with a series of Charlie Brown holiday specials, as well as many other mini-series featuring the characters he created.

Schulz would retire on December 14, 1999 amidst a colon cancer diagnosis after suffering a number of small strokes a month earlier.

His death would come one day prior to his "Peanuts" farewell strip running in newspapers, and he would posthumously be award the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001. Upon his death, 101 five-foot tall Snoopy statues would be displayed all around St. Paul, and later auctioned off with the proceeds going to benefit the College of Visual Arts as well as the aforementioned Art Instruction Inc.

Below is a brief clip from his last interview, in which he emotionally speaks to an ongoing storyline in the comic strip, Brown never getting to kick a football.

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