Peanuts’ Charlie Brown and Linus

Photo courtesy of Sonoma Index-Tribune

If I say Linus, you probably think of the security-blanket-wielding character in Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip.

But, did you know that Linus was the real name of a real friend of cartoonist Schulz?

Here is the cartoon character as you know him:

Linus Maurer was Schulz’s lifelong friend. When Schulz decided to create the Linus cartoon character as a philosophical genius, he thought that trait matched his friend. According to Maurer, here is the truth:

Maurer was also a cartoonist. Schulz and Maurer met at the Minneapolis School of Art and Design in the 1950. In 1962, Maurer moved to San Francisco to take a job as the art director for the McCann Erikson advertising agency.

When he started working for King Features, who circulated his syndicated Old Harrigan cartoon in the 1960s, he had his own office in Ghirardelli Square with a view of San Francisco Bay. His career included working for Wells Fargo bank and creating television commercials.

Maurer and Schulz lived close to each other in Northern California’s wine country, and used to visit regularly. Schulz died in 2000 at the age of 77. Maurer continued to work drawing cartoons for the Sonoma Index-Tribune newspaper. He died at his home in Northern California on February 1, 2016, at age 90.

Best wishes,