Look who's birthday it is today...
Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts!
Some interesting tidbits about him (courtesy of Wikipedia):
- Like Charlie Brown's parents, Schulz's father was a barber and his mother a housewife.
- Schulz admitted in interviews that, like Charlie Brown, he had often felt shy and withdrawn in his life. In an interview with Charlie Rose in May 1997, Schulz observed, "I suppose there’s a melancholy feeling in a lot of cartoonists, because cartooning, like all other humor, comes from bad things happening."
- Schulz reportedly had an intelligent dog when he was a boy. Although this dog was a pointer, and not a beagle as was Snoopy, family photos of the dog confirm a certain physical resemblance.
- References to Snoopy's brother Spike living outside of Needles, California, were likely influenced by the few years (1928–1930) that the Schulz family lived there; they had moved to Needles to join other family members who had relocated from Minnesota to tend to an ill cousin.
- Schulz's inspiration for Charlie Brown's unrequited love to the Little Red-Haired Girl was Donna Mae Johnson, an Art Instruction Inc. accountant with whom he fell in love. When Schulz finally proposed to her in June 1950, shortly after he had made his first contract with his syndicate, she turned him down and married another man.
- Linus and Shermy were named for his good friends Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler, respectively.
- Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of his cousins on his mother's side. Schulz devised the character's name when he saw peppermint candies in his house.
- Lucy was modeled after Schulz's first wife, Joyce Halverson.