Unbeknownst to me, my PR career launched 15 years ago on this day when I was asked to oversee the media/ PR at Charles Schulz' Memorial, honoring a wonderful man. Many of Schulz' characters in the comic strip were based on some of his immediate family members. I had the distinct honor of meeting Aunt Patty, known to the world as "Peppermint Patty", over coffee as well as work with his five wonderful children who gave me, and my own children, my favorite gift ever - a life size stuffed Snoopy.
During my time with the Schulz family, I learned that Charles was one of the hardest working men in the business who, during the life of the strip, took only one vacation - a five-week break in late 1997 to celebrate his 75th birthday. He was also a humble man as were his children. I don't believe they understood the worldwide affect their dad and Charlie Brown had on his fans until the day of the Memorial Service where more than 2,000 media outlets covered his death.
Schulz had previously predicted that the strip would outlive him, and ironically, Schulz died in his sleep at home on February 12, 2000 and the last original Peanuts strip was published the very next day, on Sunday, February 13.