My Tribute to Charles M. Schulz
by Robert J. Ruhf
Charles M. Schulz
(November 26, 1922 to February 12, 2000)
Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, died in his sleep at the age of 77 on Saturday, February 12, 2000. This page is my personal tribute to him.
I have enjoyed the Peanuts comic strip for as long as I can remember. In fact, I have over 50 Peanuts books on my shelves. I enjoy all of Schulz's characters, but it is Charlie Brown and Snoopy who stand out as having made the most significant influence on my life.
Charlie Brown never seemed to be able to get his act together, and he was always very much the outcast. He never had many friends, never won a baseball game, never kicked that football, never got that date with the little red-haired girl, and never seemed to be good at anything. He was always plagued by rejection and failure. How much like so many of us! I am convinced that there is a little bit of Charlie Brown in all of us. We strive so hard for success and acceptance, but instead find ourselves facing defeat and rejection. Yet, it was through Charlie Brown's defeats and failures that Schultz taught us that life is not about winning, and that human value doesn't come by how successful we are. He reminded us to never give up trying even when everything is working against us and nobody seems to care. We can all relate in some way to Charlie Brown.
The wonder of Schulz's characters didn't stop with Charlie Brown. Snoopy is by far the most unique character ever created for a newspaper comic strip. Who is there among us who cannot relate to Snoopy's sense of adventure? Who has never wanted to ride with him as he relentlessly pursued the Red Baron? Who has never been moved by his deep, undying friendship with Woodstock? Snoopy knew how to celebrate life, and it was through that adventurous personality that Schulz reminded us to live every moment of live to its fullest, and to see wonder in even the most trivial details.
I am grateful to Charles M. Schulz for creating a comic strip that not only made us laugh, but that also taught us so much about ourselves. Schulz will truly be missed.