On December 14th of 1999, a few weeks after discovering he had colon cancer, cartoonist Charles Schulz wrote the following open letter and announced his retirement from drawing the Peanuts comic strip — a widely adored publishing phenomenon that was read by hundreds of millions of people during its 50 year lifespan.
Sadly, just two months after writing the letter, on February 12th of 2000, Charles Schulz passed away. The next day, the last Peanuts strip — also seen below — was published as planned.
(Source: Gary Teesdale; Last strip, via Wikipedia.)
CHARLES M. SCHULZ
c/o UNITED MEDIA
200 MADISON AVENUE • NEW YORK, NY 10016
December 14, 1999
Dear Readers, Colleagues, Fellow Cartoonists and Friends near and far:
I have always wanted to be a cartoonist, and I feel very blessed to have been able to do what I love for almost 50 years. That all of you have embraced Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus and all the other PEANUTS characters has been a constant motivation for me.
It is important for me to tell you personally that I have decided to retire from drawing the PEANUTS comic strip, after the daily release of Monday, January 3rd, 2000 (and Sunday release of February 13th), in order to concentrate on my treatment for and recuperation from colon cancer. Although I feel better following my recent surgery, I want to focus on my health and my family without the worry of a daily deadline.
Thank you for your kindness and support over the years and for the outpouring of good wishes since my surgery.
Charles M. Schulz
The last Peanuts strip: