Really Good Grief: The Wonderfully Tragic Life of Charles Schulz


There are plenty of terrific articles online that explore Charles Schulz's wonderful life. They talk of how many awards he won (from Emmys to Congressional Gold Medals), and how he donated great amounts of money to charity (everything from building local skating rinks to to heading up the fundraising for a national D-Day memorial). They explore how wealthy his strip made him (in 1989 Forbes estimated that he was making $32 million a year), and they inevitably touch on his religious views (he considered himself a "secular human" and taught Sunday School). In fact, generally they talk about how full and rich his life was.

This article deals with none of that. Instead we're concentrating on Charles Schulz's wonderfully miserable life. And specifically, after suffering a very bad day, 8 things that only seem to make him more endearing to me!

1. He had a lot of bad hair days

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2. He came "this close" a lot

That wasn't the only rain cloud hovering over little Charlie's existence. As a child, he was once super-excited to be in line at a movie theater because they promised candy bars to the first 100 kids to buy tickets. Of course, Schulz happened to be the 101st.

3. He disliked high school (especially the yearbook)

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More stories, and your chance to win t-shirts... all after the break!

4. He didn't think he could draw

Despite teaching at the Art Instruction Schools, and earning heaps of accolades through out his career, Charles Schulz wished he could do fine art and be Andrew Wyeth. In fact, at 75, he was quoted as saying "My goal in life is to meet Andrew Wyeth."

5. His dog was nuts

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6. He hated the name "Peanuts"

Originally, Schulz's comics were titled Li'l Folks. According to Wikipedia, much to Schulz's dismay, his cartoon syndicate changed the strip's name to avoid confusion with Li'l Abner and another comic called Little Folks. Judging from a 1987 interview, Schulz still hadn't forgiven them. "It's totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity — and I think my humor has dignity".

7. He never got over The Little Red-Haired Girl

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8. And apparently all that misery was good for him

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>>UPDATE: PLEASE NOTE THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Feel free to keep sharing stories if you'd like, though. And congratulations to Mrs. DJS, Natasha and Kathy A. for making us laugh (and feel better about our day). Good luck, and good grief!

Previously on mental_floss:

15 Reasons Mr. Rogers Was The Best Neighbor Ever
Where Ten Legendary Cartoons Got Their Names
15 Award-Winning Facts About The Nobel Prize
Seven Curses That Seem To Be Doing Their Jobs
Ten Epic Halloween Costumes

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