This edition of A&E's award winning Biography series chronicles the life and career of America's most popular cartoonist, Charles Schulz. After studying art through a correspondence course and contributing freelance cartoons to the Saturday Evening Post, he created in 1950 a newspaper comic strip tentatively titled Li'l Folks. The strip was accepted for syndication under the new title, Peanuts, and became the most successful cartoon strip in history, read by an estimated 355 million people worldwide. The childhood travails of Charlie Brown, his friends Lucy and Linus, and his dog Snoopy have been immortalized in more than 30 animated television specials and four full-length cartoon films. The holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered in 1965 and still runs every December.
Devoted to his beloved characters, Schulz continued writing and drawing Peanuts in 1981, after he underwent quintuple bypass surgery, and he wrote for years with a hand tremor. He was finally forced to stop working in November 1999 after he was diagnosed with colon cancer. His last daily comic strip ran in early January 2000. On the eve of his last Sunday comic strip, which appeared on February 13, 2000, Charles Schulz died at home at age 77. ~ John Patrick Sheehan, Rovi