Charles M. Schulz
The artist is often reflected in his art, intentionally or not, and much of Charles M. Schulz could be seen in "Peanuts," his internationally popular comic strip that seemingly appealed to every demographic. A shy, retiring man, Schulz was an awkward, frequently lonely child who took solace in drawing. He polished his skills and eventually had one of his comic strip ideas accepted by United Features Syndicate. "Peanuts" became a cultural phenomenon and elements of its creator's personality and experience could be discerned throughout its history. Over the course of a career spanning 50 years, Schulz drew almost 19,000 strips and at the peak of its popularity, "Peanuts" was read in 75 countries by 300 million people. His earnings from the strip, both from its long run in syndication and its spin-offs into other mediums and endless merchandising, topped $1 billion. However, as more of Schulz's story became known after his death - including his bouts with anxiety and depression - it can be said that he was happy mostly during the time he was alone in his office drawing the next "Peanuts" strip. A complex man, gentle and reticent on the one hand, and driven and wonderfully creative on the other, Schulz was a remarkable talent and the most successful artist in American history.