On this date 13 years ago, cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz died of a heart attack at his home in Santa Rosa, CA. Over the course of half a century, Schulz had written and illustrated nearly 18,000 editions of the comic strip Peanuts, which ran in daily syndication from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000.
The first Peanuts strip, October 2, 1950, United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
Peanuts became one of the most beloved and influential strips in the history of the artform. At its most popular, the series — four-panel vignettes about a luckless, depression-presenting boy and his comorbid cluster of chums — was syndicated in over 2,600 newspapers and translated into more than 20 languages. Some daring recent research even credits Schulz for inspiring the Internet-ism of using *bounded asterisks* as a stand-in for italics.
The last original Peanuts strip was published the day after Schulz’s death. Months later, the National Cartoonist Society’s awarded Schulz its only ever posthumous lifetime achievement award. But the creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Linus, and Lucy was perhaps best honored on Saturday, May 27, 2000, when the cartoonists of more than 100 comic strips paid homage to him, where else, but in the funny papers.