My hero / Charles Shulz
My hero / Charles Shulz
Charles Shulz(1922 - 2000)
Charles Schulz was the creator and cartoonist behind 'Peanuts,' a globally popular comic strip that expanded into TV, books and other merchandise.
Charles Schulz, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 26, 1922, launched his comic strip Peanuts in 1950. Featuring hero Charlie Brown, over the years the strip would run in more than 2,000 newspapers and in many languages. Peanuts also expanded into TV specials like the Emmy-winning A Charlie Brown Christmas, as well as books and a huge merchandise collection. Schulz died on February 12, 2000.
Charles Monroe Schulz was born on November 26, 1922, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The only child of dad Carl, a German immigrant and barber, and mom Dena, a waitress turned homemaker, Schulz spent most of his childhood in the Twin Cities, outside of a two-year stint in Needles, California, after the onset of the Great Depression.
Schulz realized at an early age that he wanted to become a cartoonist. He sat down with his dad to read the Sunday funny papers every week, becoming a fan of E.C. Segar’s Thimble Theatre (which featured Popeye), Percy Crosby’sSkippy and Al Capp’s L’il Abner. The burgeoning cartoonist received a thrill in 1937, when his drawing of the family dog, Spike, was published in Robert Ripley’s popular Believe It or Not! feature.
Late in his senior year at St. Paul’s Central High School, Schulz enrolled in a correspondence course at the Federal School of Applied Cartooning in Minneapolis. He worked odd jobs as he began submitting his cartoons to publications, but his career plans were halted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in the fall of 1942. Shortly after he left for basic training, his mom passed away at age 50 from cervical cancer.
War Service and Early Career
Assigned to Company B in the Eighth Armored Battalion of the Twentieth Armored Infantry Division, Schulz trained as a machine gunner at Kentucky's Fort Campbell, rising to the rank of staff sergeant. His unit was shipped to Europe in February 1945, where they helped lead the charge on Munich and liberate the Dachau concentration camp. After Germany’s surrender, Schulz received the Combat Infantryman Badge for fighting in active ground combat under hostile fire. He was then sent to Camp Cooke in California, before earning his official discharge on January 6, 1946.
Schulz maintained his interest in cartooning during the war, developing an affinity for Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe characters in the military publicationStars and Stripes, and afterward he began working as an instructor at his old cartooning school. The job gave him the opportunity to hone his technique, and he finally had one of his pieces published in early 1947.
That year also brought the debut of Schulz's weekly panel in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Titled Li'l Folks, and attributed to the artist's childhood nickname of "Sparky," the cartoon featured prototypes of the soon-to-be iconic characters of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Additional recognition came in 1948, when Schulz had the first of 17 cartoons published in The Saturday Evening Post.
After multiple attempts to get Li'l Folks syndicated, Schulz scored a breakthrough when United Feature Syndicate purchased his strip in 1950. However, due to conflicts with other similarly named comics, he grudgingly agreed to retitle his strip Peanuts.
Peanuts made its official debut in seven newspapers on October 2, 1950. The inaugural four-panel comic, in which a boy remarks how he hates "Good ol' Charlie Brown," set the tone for its bald-headed hero. Before long, fans grew attached to the quirky, philosophical cast of characters; the oft-maligned Charlie Brown, who always strikes out and gets his kite stuck in a tree; bossy Lucy, and her security blanket-toting little brother, Linus; the Beethoven-loving Schroeder, his head always buried in his toy piano; and Snoopy, the pet who sleeps atop his doghouse and engages in imaginative midair battles with the Red Baron.
Schulz funneled his own life experiences into the strip: Snoopy was based on his old family dog, Spike (a name revived later with the introduction of Snoopy's brother). Lucy's cruel tendency to pull a football away from Charlie Brown was inspired by childhood antics. And the Little Red-Haired Girl, the never-seen source of Charlie Brown's romantic anguish, was drawn from an old girlfriend who had spurned Schulz's marriage proposal.
Peanuts earned Schulz the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1955 (and again in 1964), and soon developed an appeal that transcended the boundaries of the funny pages. Exhibits of Peanuts originals were displayed at the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Minnesota, and Schulz was honored by Yale University as its Humorist of the Year. By 1960, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the crew were being featured in Hallmark greeting cards and advertisements for Ford automobiles.
In the early 1960s, Schulz was approached by a young television producer named Lee Mendelson for the purpose of filming a documentary. Although the documentary never aired, their meeting marked the start of a lifelong collaboration, and they soon teamed up to create the television special A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). Featuring the animation of Bill Melendez, and a delightful score by jazz musician and composer Vince Guaraldi, the program was honored with both an Emmy and a Peabody Award in 1966. Additional TV specials soon followed, with Charlie Brown's All-Stars and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown both airing that year.
Underscoring their standing as pop culture superstars, the Peanutscharacters graced the cover of Time and were the subject of a hit song by The Royal Guardsmen. A stage production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown debuted in New York City in 1967, and two years later, the feature-length film A Boy Named Charlie Brown opened at the Radio City Music Hall.
Schulz married Joyce Halverson in 1951, and adopted her young daughter, Meredith. The family grew as the couple had children of their own: Charles Jr. (Monte), Craig, Amy and Jill all arrived by 1958.
After several years in Colorado Springs, Schulz turned his sights westward by purchasing a 28-acre property in Sonoma County, California. The family set about renovating the grounds, adding such features as a swimming pool, a miniature golf course and horse stables. In 1969, Schulz opened the Redwood Empire Ice Arena in nearby Santa Rosa. Known as "Snoopy's Home Ice," the arena began hosting an annual hockey tournament in 1975.
Schulz and Joyce divorced in 1972, and the following year he married his second wife, Jeannie Clyde.
Later Works, Death and Legacy
After the additions of such new faces as Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Franklin – Peanuts’ first African-American character – Schulz and his team continued to churn out award-winning TV specials to accompany the strip. Additional feature-length movies included Snoopy Come Home (1972) andBon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) (1980).
Resuming his drawing after undergoing quadruple-bypass surgery in 1981, Schulz continued to handle the daily creation of his strip all by himself, even after developing a hand tremor in later years. However, when abdominal surgery brought a diagnosis of colon cancer in late 1999, the cartoonist announced he was retiring.
On February 12, 2000, the night before his final Peanuts cartoon was published, Schulz died in his sleep. At the time, Peanuts was reaching readers in 21 languages across some 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries. Altogether, Schulz produced more than 18,000 strips over nearly 50 years of work.
The famed cartoonist received several posthumous honors, including the Congressional Gold Medal. In 2002, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center opened in Santa Rosa, displaying original artwork, letters, photographs and other memorabilia.
With its characters continuing to appear in daily newspapers, anniversary books, TV specials and commercials, the Peanuts empire has shown little signs of diminishing. Marking the 65th anniversary of his beloved strip's debut on October 2, 1950, Schulz was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in late September 2015. The honor came on the eve of a brand-new Peanuts3D movie, set to hit theaters in November 2015.
Snoopy's Joe Cool Summer
I do not go to church anymore... I guess you might say I've come around to secular humanism, an obligation I believe all humans have to others and the world we live in
I think that he was a deeply thoughtful and spiritual man. Sparky was not the sort of person who would say "oh that's God's will" or "God will take care of it." I think to him that was an easy statement, and he thought that God was much more complicated.
When he came back from the army he was very lonely. His mother had died and he was invited to church by a pastor who had prepared his mother's service from the Church of God. Sparky's father was worried about him and was talking to the pastor and so the pastor invited Sparky to come to church. So Sparky went to church, joined the youth group and for a good 4–5 years he went to Bible study and went to church 3 times a week (2 Bible studies, 1 service). He said he had read the Bible through three times and taught Sunday school. He was always looking for what those passages REALLY Might have meant. Some of his discussions with priests and ministers were so interesting because he wanted to find out what these people (who he thought were more educated than he) thought.
When he taught Sunday school, he would never tell people what to believe. God was very important to him, but in a very deep way, in a very mysterious way
Charles M. Schulz, `Peanuts' Creator, Dies at 77
February 14, 2000
By SARAH BOXER
harles M. Schulz, the creator of "Peanuts," the tender and sage comic strip starring Charlie Brown and Snoopy that is read by 355 million people around the world, died in his sleep on Saturday night at his home in Santa Rosa, Calif., just hours before his last cartoon ran in the Sunday newspapers. He was 77.
The cause of death was colon cancer, said Paige Braddock, creative director for Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates.
John Burgess/The Press Democrats (Santa Rosa, Calif.) via The Associated Press
Mr. Schulz drew "Peanuts" for nearly half a century. He swore that no one else would ever draw the comic strip and he kept his word. For years he drew "Peanuts" with a hand tremor. He finally put down his pen when he received a diagnosis of colon cancer after abdominal surgery in November.
His last daily strip ran on Jan. 3. His last Sunday page, which ran yesterday, carried a signed farewell in which he said, "Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy . . . how can I ever forget them. . . ." His wife, Jeannie, said, "He had done everything he wanted."
Lynn Johnston, a friend of Mr. Schulz and the creator of "For Better or for Worse," told The Associated Press, "It's amazing that he dies just before his last strip is published." Such an ending, she said, was "as if he had written it that way."
She recalled something Mr. Schulz told her as she sat in the hospital with him last year: "You control all these characters and the lives they live. You decide when they get up in the morning, when they're going to fight with their friends, when they're going to lose the game. Isn't it amazing how you have no control over your real life?" But, Ms. Johnston said, "I think, in a way, he did."
The life of "Peanuts" and Charles Schulz were completely intertwined. "The strip and he were one," said Patrick McDonnell, who draws the cartoon "Mutts." "He put his heart and soul into that strip." "Peanuts," which reached readers in 75 countries, 2,600 papers and 21 languages every day, made Mr. Schulz very rich. The "Peanuts" strips, merchandise and product endorsements brought in $1.1 billion a year. And Mr. Schulz was said to have earned about $30 million to $40 million annually.
His saga of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus "is arguably the longest story ever told by one human being," Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, observed on the PBS "NewsHour" with Jim Lehrer, longer than any epic poem, any Tolstoy novel, any Wagner opera. In all Mr. Schulz drew more than 18,250 strips in nearly 50 years.
Jules Feiffer, the cartoonist and playwright, said that the "Peanuts" characters endure because they were the first real children in the comics pages, ones with doubts and anxieties. And there were a lot of them. "Linus, Lucy, Charlie Brown -- these interesting little people formed a repertory company," he said.
A Long-Running Ensemble Act
The cast of "Peanuts" changed remarkably little.
It included Charlie Brown, a wishy-washy boy with a tree-loving kite and a losing baseball team; Snoopy, an unflappable beagle with a fancy inner life; Lucy, a fussbudget with a football and a curbside psychiatric clinic; Linus, a philosophical blanket-carrier; Sally, Charlie Brown's romantic little sister; Schroeder, a virtuoso on the toy piano and a Beethoven devotee; Peppermint Patty, a narcoleptic D-minus student; and, in later years, Woodstock, a small, expressive but speechless bird.
Mr. Schulz remembered waking up in the night many years ago and thinking, "Good grief, who are all these little people? Must I live with them for the rest of my life?" The answer was yes.
Charles Monroe Schulz, the son of Carl Schulz, a barber, like Charlie Brown's father, and the former Dena Halverson, was born in Minneapolis on Nov. 26, 1922. Young Charles was nicknamed Sparky after the horse Spark Plug in the comic strip "Barney Google." He had a black-and-white dog named Spike (memorialized in the character of Snoopy's skinny Western brother).
He wanted to be a cartoonist as a child and practiced by drawing Popeye. "Someday, Charles, you're going to be an artist," a kindergarten teacher told him after looking at his drawing of a man shoveling snow. His ambition was to do a comic strip as good as George Herriman's "Krazy Kat," but Mr. Schulz also admired Picasso, Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. Snoopy kept a van Gogh and a Wyeth in his doghouse.
The hurts of Mr. Schulz's early years provided a lifetime of material. At Central High School in St. Paul, he flunked Latin, English, algebra and physics. "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" accepted one of his drawings when he was 15 -- a picture of Spike illustrating "a hunting dog that eats pins, tacks and razor blades" -- but the cartoons he drew for his high school yearbook were rejected. Mr. Schulz remembered his failures more vividly than his successes.
After his high school graduation he took a correspondence course from Art Instruction Inc., but before he could start a career he was drafted into the Army. He left for boot camp only days after his mother died of cancer. (Mr. Schulz later suggested that this coincidence might have been the reason for his lifelong hatred of travel.) During World War II, from 1943 to 1945, Mr. Schulz served in France and Germany and became a staff sergeant in the 20th Armored Division. He once refused to toss a grenade into an artillery emplacement because he saw a little dog wander into it.
After the war he tried various odd jobs: lettering the comics at a Catholic magazine called Timeless Topix; drawing a weekly cartoon called "Li'l Folks," the precursor to "Peanuts," for the St. Paul Pioneer Press; and selling occasional spot cartoons to The Saturday Evening Post.
He also taught at Art Instruction Inc. There he fell in love with a redhead, Donna Johnson, and proposed marriage. She turned him down and married a fireman instead. He never forgot. Ms. Johnson became the Little Red-Haired Girl, Charlie Brown's unrequited love, who was often talked about but never seen in the strip. Mr. Schulz married Joyce Halverson in 1949; the marriage ended in divorce.
"You can't create humor out of happiness," Mr. Schulz said in his 1980 book, "Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me."
"I'm astonished at the number of people who write to me saying, 'Why can't you create happy stories for us? Why does Charlie Brown always have to lose? Why can't you let him kick the football?' Well, there is nothing funny about the person who gets to kick the football."
The strip's start was bittersweet. In 1949 Mr. Schulz submitted some of his "Li'l Folks" comic strips to United Feature Syndicate. The syndicate liked the strip but insisted on calling it "Peanuts" because "Li'l Folks" was too similar to the name of another strip.
"I was very upset with the title," Mr. Schulz once said, "and still am."
On Oct. 2, 1950, the first "Peanuts" strip was published. It depicted two children sitting on the sidewalk discussing Charlie Brown: "Well, here comes ol' Charlie Brown!" . . . "Good ol' Charlie Brown" . . . "Yes, sir! Good ol' Charlie Brown." And then, as Charlie Brown passes them, "How I hate him!"
That year seven newspapers bought "Peanuts," and Mr. Schulz earned $90 a week in royalties. But by 1953 the cartoon was a hit and he was earning $30,000 a year. In 1955 (and again in 1964) the National Cartoonists Society awarded Mr. Schulz the Reuben for being the outstanding cartoonist of the year. He received the Yale Humor Award in 1956 and the School Bell Award from the National Education Association in 1960.
Unrequited Love With Roots in Real Life
"Peanuts" was based on repetition and predictability. As Mr. Schulz put it, "All the loves in the strip are unrequited; all the baseball games are lost; all the test scores are D-minuses; the Great Pumpkin never comes; and the football is always pulled away." One of the few innovations Mr. Schulz introduced was allowing Snoopy (after eight years) to stand on two feet and to have his thoughts written out in balloons.
Snoopy could always be counted on to nap, fantasize and wonder when his next meal would arrive. Charlie Brown, the round-headed blockhead (named after one of Mr. Schulz's childhood friends, not after the cartoonist himself), could always be counted on to persevere despite constant failure. He once held onto the string of a kite that was stuck in a tree for eight days running, until the rain made him stop. At the time it was the longest run of immobility for any cartoon character. His first home run came after nearly 43 years of strike outs, on March 30, 1993.
No adult ever appeared in "Peanuts," though in television specials there were occasional wah-wah sounds denoting the voices of teachers and parents. As Mr. Schulz once put it, "Well, there just isn't room for them." Curses never got worse than "Aaugh!" "Good grief," "Rats!" "Curse you, Red Baron!" or a knot of lines scrunched up in frustration.
|Charles M. Schulz, in 1966,
said he never liked the name "Peanuts,"
suggested by his syndicate.
The strips were just the beginning. In 1952 Mr. Schulz started turning out "Peanuts" books: "Peanuts," "More Peanuts," "Good Grief, More Peanuts!" "Good Ol' Charlie Brown," "Happiness Is a Warm Puppy" and dozens more. New compilations rolled off the presses every year for decades.
Eventually "Peanuts" was translated into Serbo-Croatian, Malay, Chinese, Tlingit, Catalan and 15 other languages. Books came out with titles like, "Het Grote Snoopy Winterspelletjes-Boek" and "Du Bist Sub, Charlie Braun."
The 1960's brought animated "Peanuts" television specials. The first was "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which Mr. Schulz wrote in one weekend with Lee Mendelson. Accompanied by Vince Guaraldi's jazz piano, animated by Bill Melendez and unassisted by any laugh track, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was shown on CBS in 1965 (and still runs every winter).
It won an Emmy and a Peabody. Many more television specials followed, including "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Five of the specials won Emmys. There were also "Peanuts" feature films, including "A Boy Named Charlie Brown."
The takeoffs came rolling in. In 1966 the Royal Guardsmen wrote a rock song, "Snoopy and the Red Baron." In 1967 a musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," was produced Off Broadway. (A 1999 revival on Broadway won two Tony Awards.) "Peanuts Gallery," a concerto, was composed by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and had its premiere at Carnegie Hall in 1997. Mr. Schulz received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. In 1990 his work was shown at the Louvre; the gala had Snoopys in couture.
Many pundits tried to put their finger on the "Peanuts" spell and they generally rambled on in a vaguely philosophical vein. Umberto Eco, who wrote the introduction to the first Italian "Peanuts" book, referred to Mr. Schulz's work as "poésie interrompue," or interrupted poetry, and, using Freud, Beckett, Adler and Thomas Mann to back him up, said, "These children affect us because in a certain sense they are monsters; they are the monstrous infantile reductions of all the neuroses of a modern citizen of the industrial civilization."
In an essay called "Peanuts: The Americanization of Augustine," Arthur Asa Berger, a scholar of popular culture, observed that Mr. Schulz was "a mirthful moralist" and a master of Freudian humor, humor that "serves to mask aggression."
Mr. Berger called Snoopy "an existential hero in every sense of the term," a dog who "strives, with dogged persistence and unyielding courage, to overcome what seems to be his fate -- that he is a dog." He is "a bon vivant, he participates in history, he has an incredible imagination, he is witty, he expresses himself with virtuosity in any number of ways (eye movements, ear movements, tail movements, wisecracks, facial expressions) and he is superb as mimic and dancer."
The most concerted attempt to bring "Peanuts" to heel philosophically came in the 1960's when Robert L. Short, a minister, wrote two books on "Peanuts" theology, "The Gospel According to Peanuts" (1964) and "The Parables of Peanuts" (1968). The Rev.
Short saw signs of original sin in the "Peanuts" children, who were unable "to produce any radical change for the better in themselves -- or in each other." He saw "the hazard of worshiping deities" demonstrated in Linus's belief in the Great Pumpkin. And he called Snoopy "a typical Christian," a flawed character who is nonetheless good: "He is lazy, he is a 'chow hound' without parallel, he is bitingly sarcastic, he is frequently a coward," Mr. Short wrote. But he is "a hound of heaven."
If the "Peanuts" characters left themselves open to the maunderings of philosophers, ministers and analysts, they were even more vulnerable to toy, card, book and clothing manufacturers.
The licensing madness began in 1958 when the first plastic Snoopy and Charlie Brown came out. In 1960 Hallmark began printing "Peanuts" cards and party goods. Then came sweatshirts and pajamas, thermoses and lunch boxes. Plush Snoopy came in 1965. Woodstock slippers, Lucy picture frames, Charlie Brown music boxes followed. Mr. Schulz vetted all products for appropriateness and rejected some: baby wipes for aesthetic reasons, ashtrays, vitamins, sugary breakfast cereals, ice skates and tennis rackets.
There were commercials too. In 1957 the "Peanuts" characters started selling Ford Falcons. For 15 years they worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Snoopy was the official mascot of NASA, and in 1969 NASA's lunar excursion module on the Apollo 11 mission was called Snoopy. The command module was Charlie Brown.
A Menagerie of Merchandising
By 1999 there were 20,000 different new products each year adorned by "Peanuts" characters. In 1994 Mr. Schulz was inducted into the Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association Hall of Fame. Jim Davis, the creator of the cartoon "Garfield," who is no stranger to commercialization, said, "Schulz created the industry as far as cartooning and licensing go."
When asked whether he minded his characters selling merchandise, Mr. Schulz said, "I don't think there's such a thing as going commercial with a comic strip because a comic strip is a commercial right from the beginning." It is there to sell newspapers, he said.
In 1989 Forbes listed the cartoonist among the ten wealthiest entertainers, earning $32 million a year.
Nonetheless his lifestyle remained simple. Mr. Schulz, who hated to travel, said he would have been happy living his whole life in Minneapolis. But "I had a restless first wife," so they moved to Sebastopol, Calif., and he set up his studio in Santa Rosa. In 1969, after the local ice rink closed, he and his wife, Joyce, built a new one, the Redwood Empire Ice Skating Arena. "Because of Snoopy's hockey playing," Mr. Schulz explained, "I have to keep in the game. So I bought an arena."
Charles and Joyce Schulz had five children, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1972. He said, "I don't think she liked me anymore, and I just got up and left one day." A year later he met Jeannie Clyde at the ice rink and married her.
Mr. Schulz's workday typically began with a trip in his Mercedes (license plate WDSTK1, after Woodstock) down from the hills near where he lived, breakfast at the ice rink's Warm Puppy Snack Bar, a trip to his stone-and-redwood studio at One Snoopy Place to draw his strip, lunch at the ice rink, more work in the afternoon in his studio and dinner at a restaurant with his wife.
While his small staff dealt with the commercial end of the business, he attended only to drawing. He used a yellow legal pad for sketching and drew with an Esterbrook Radial pen. He would start doodling until something funny happened. He never took suggestions from anyone (though he did draw on conversations, newspapers, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, and his children's antics.
"Drawing a daily comic strip is not unlike having an English theme hanging over your head every day for the rest of your life," he once said. He could do a strip an hour and six strips a day, but preferred not to. He generally kept three months ahead of publication and never took more than ten days off at a time, and then only reluctantly.
"Peanuts" continued to appear when Mr. Schulz had quadruple-bypass heart surgery in 1981. And it was only under orders from United Feature that he took off for five weeks in 1997 for his 75th birthday.
Jeannie Schulz once said that all the characters in "Peanuts" are parts of her husband. "He's crabby like Lucy, diffident like Charlie Brown. There's a lot of Linus -- he's philosophical and wondering about life." Like Schroeder, he loved classical music, though he preferred Brahms to Beethoven. And like Snoopy, he was a war buff. Snoopy had all of World War I covered. But Mr. Schulz knew all the World War II battlegrounds and was the head of a capital fund-raising campaign for the National D-Day Memorial.
He was a member of the Church of God, where he was a Sunday school teacher and administrator and would occasionally deliver the Sunday sermon.
People described Mr. Schulz as looking like a druggist. He found Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" and Walt Kelly's "Pogo" too political, but he admired the work of Cathy Guisewite, the cartoonist who draws "Cathy," and Ms. Johnston, of "For Better or for Worse." His favorite ice cream flavor was vanilla.
Mr. Schulz is survived by his wife, a philanthropist, and his children: Meredith Hodges, who raises mules in Loveland, Colo.; Charles Jr. (called Monte), a novelist in Nevada City, Calif.; Craig, a private pilot in Santa Rosa; Amy Johnson, a homemaker with nine children in Alpine, Utah; and Jill Schulz Transki, who runs an in-line skating business with her husband in Santa Barbara, Calif. He is also survived by two stepchildren, Brooke Clyde, a lawyer in Santa Rosa, and Lisa Brockway, a homemaker in Ashland, Oregon; and 18 grandchildren.
Personal Anxieties Shared With Millions
Despite his large family and large success he was a melancholy man who worried and was often lonely, depressed and plagued by panic attacks, features that Rheta Grimsley Johnson brought out in her 1989 biography "Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz." Sally, Charlie Brown's sister, put it well in a school report on night and day: "Daytime is so you can see where you're going. Nighttime is so you can lie in bed worrying."
Mr. Schulz had a white terrier named Andy, played golf (12 handicap), tennis (for a while with Billie Jean King) and bridge. But he was most devoted to hockey and ice skating.
He was a right-handed shot.
He hated cats, coconut and sleeping away from home. And he never forgot a slight. Ms. Johnston once said, "He's bitter about the little red-haired girl who didn't marry him, he's bitter about his divorce, he's bitter about getting old." And he was bitter about the lack of recognition cartoonists get. This is what he said about cartooning: "It will destroy you. It will break your heart."
The creator of one of the least troubled dogs of all time, Mr. Schulz compared his own panic to that of a dog "running frantically down the road pursuing the family car." The dog "is not really being left behind," he said, "but for that moment in his limited understanding, he is being left alone forever."
As Mr. Schulz got older he began to think about the end of his strip. His hand quavered, but he knew that he did not want anyone else to draw the cartoon.
"Everything has to end," he once said. "This is my excuse for existence. No one else will touch it." In November he was hospitalized for colon cancer and started chemotherapy. On Dec. 14 he announced that his strip would end.
But thoughts of death had long since seeped into his strip. "After you've died, do you get to come back?" Linus once asked Charlie Brown. He replied, "If they stamp your hand."
Mr. Schulz always felt for the little man and the little animal. He once said that his philosophy of life could be found in the Gospel of St. Luke: "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."