Charles M. Schulz was born in Minneapolis but raised in St. Paul where he lived and worked until leaving for California in 1958. Creator of the enormously successful and influential Peanuts franchise, Schulz is considered the inventor of the modern comic strip with his spare, minimal drawing, use of sarcasm and other more realistic emotions, his serious treatment of children, his inventive anthropomorphic portrayal of a household pet, and his television and other crossover successes. Peanuts had its origins in Li’l Folks, a weekly panel comic that was published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1947 to 1950, where different characters were named Charlie Brown and a precursor to Snoopy makes an appearance. In 1950, Schultz approached United Feature Syndicate with his work from Li’l Folks, but with a fixed set of characters in mind. Renamed Peanuts, a name Schulz disliked, the comic debuted on October 2, 1950 in seven newspapers but would, at its peak, run in over 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries with a readership of 355 million people. Schulz didn’t use assistants on the comic series, insisting on drawing all the strips himself. The last strip ran on February 14, 2000, but continues in reruns today.