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Harry F. Schroeder, Jr.

The Kid After Whom Charles M. Schulz Named His Beethoven-Loving Character in His "Peanuts" Cartoon



     Our father, believe it or not, was the kid after whom the famous cartoonist Charles M. Schulz named his Beethoven-adoring, Lucy-allergic character in Peanuts.  We've pasted below the St. Paul Pioneer Press article describing the connection, published in the days after Harry's death.  (Left:  Harold F. Schroeder, Jr., 1968.  Right: cartoon panel copyright United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY.)  

        To squelch the guffaws of skeptics and doubters, here's a thumbnail    of the 1930 census page showing our father, Harry Jr., on the cusp of his fourth birthday, living with his family at 1411 Randolph Street in St Paul.  A quick GoogleMap check (  ) will confirm that Harry's house lies 1.7 miles south & east of Charles M. Schulz's home above his father's barber shop at the corner of Snelling and Selby.  That's where Charles Schulz was raised, as he recalled in his 1975 book A Peanuts Jubilee. Harry, born in 1926, lived in the Randolph St. house all through the 1930s, as shown in his parents' divorce papers.

           Harry, in fact, lived quite a bit closer to Highland Park Golf Course than Charles Schulz did -- about a 10-minute walk away (Charles Schulz lived about a 10-minute streetcar ride away).  Highland Golf Course is where Charles Schulz recalled meeting a caddy named Schroeder, where he got the name for his character.  As a boy Harry caddied at Highland every summer, nurturing his lifelong love affair with the game of golf.  (Right:  Highland Park Golf Course, looking south from 1515 Highland Parkway, with the signature Highland Park Water Tower in the upper right, ca. 1950)

          Harry's father and Uncle Ray (R.G.) lived even closer to the golf course than Harry did -- about a 30-second leisurely stroll out the front door and across the street.   Ray's house at 1515 Highland Parkway, built around 1940, boasted a lovely view of the 7th fairway, with its hugely fun sledding hill.  (Harry's parents divorced in 1939, after which Harold Sr. kept the house at 1411 Randolph St.  Five years later, in 1944, Harry turned 18 and joined the Navy, after which Harold Sr. sold the house on Randolph and went to live with his brother Ray a few blocks away.)

   The black & white photo above, taken around 1950, shows the view out the front window of 1515 Highland Parkway on a typical winter's weekend.  We moved into that house in 1968 and built a big addition in the early '70s; on the left is a photo of us kids running around with the dogs on the same patch of land in fall 1972 (tons of photos of the construction, many taken from atop the hill you see here, appear in  Photos, 1970). (The old water tower can be barely glimpsed behind the big blue one; click on image for full photo; the tree in the foreground is very probably the same tree that appears on the far right of the black & white photo above). 

     So that's the golf course that Harry our dad used to caddy on from 1936-39 or so, and that Charles Schulz caddied on at the same time. That's where they met and where Schulz got the name Schroeder -- just as he says in A Peanuts Jubilee.  And that's a fact.

          Following this impressive array of evidence is an article that appeared in an Italian news service, and an item from a Turkish website, all appearing around the same time as the Pioneer Press story -- testifying -- as if such testament was needed -- to the profound importance of these absolutely stunning facts.  (Apparently the New York Times found the story too big and decided not to touch it -- and honestly, who can blame them?)



Peanuts namesake Schroeder dies at age 76

June 27, 2002

By Kermit Pattison
The Saint Paul Pioneer Press


Harold F. Schroeder Jr., a contemporary of cartoonist Charles Schulz who may have inspired the name of the Peanuts character, has died. He was 76.

Schroeder appears to fit Schulz’s description of a boyhood acquaintance who was the namesake of the piano-playing cartoon character.

"Schroeder was named after a young boy with whom I used to caddy at Highland Park golf course in St. Paul," Schulz wrote in the 1975 book, Peanuts Jubilee My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others. "I don’t recall ever knowing his first name, but just Schroeder seemed right for the character in the strip."

Harold Schroeder was born in 1926 and grew up in Highland Park. He worked as a caddy at the golf course between ages 8 and 14, said his son Mark Schroeder.

Schulz, who died at age 77 in 2000, was four years older than Harold Schroeder. The future cartoonist lived in an apartment building above his father’s barbershop at the corner of Snelling and Selby avenues in St. Paul.

Mark Schroeder said his father and Schulz were not close friends but acquaintances. Schroeder’s second cousin was Schulz’s baseball coach.

Harold Schroeder initially discounted the possibility that the character was named after him. He only became convinced when he saw the Peanuts Jubilee book for the first time around last Christmas, said Mark Schroeder.

"He said, ‘It’s got to be,’ " said his son. "There were no other Schroeders in the neighborhood, and there certainly were no other Schroeders who were caddies at the Highland Park golf course. He put on a sheepish grin and said, ‘I guess so.’ There it was in black and white. He was a black-and-white kind of guy."

The coincidences also were enough to convince Ruth Begell, director of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California.

"He used to caddy at the Highland Golf Course? And he’s the right age?" she asked. "It’s probably him."

Schroeder worked as an architect and lived in Shoreview. He is survived by five children, two step-children and eight grandchildren. Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. today at Sunset Funeral Chapel, 2250 St. Anthony Blvd., St. Anthony.



And this from an Italian News Service ( from June 2002:



Guigno 2002

Muore lo Schroeder dei Peanuts

     Harold F. Schroeder Jr., un quasi coetaneo del cartoonist Charles Schulz che probabilmente ha ispirato il nome dell’omonimo personaggio dei Peanuts, è morto a 76 anni. “Schroeder ha preso il nome da un ragazzino con cui andavo a fare il caddy al campo di golf di Highland Park a St. Paul” scrisse Schulz nel 1975 in “Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others”. “Non credo di aver mai saputo il suo nome, Schroeder da solo andava bene per il personaggio della mia striscia”. Schulz è morto nel 2000, aveva 77 anni.

[Google's Translation:  Harold F. Schroeder Jr., a contemporary of cartoonist Charles Schulz who probably inspired the name of the "Peanuts" character, died aged 76."Schroeder was named after a young boy with whom I used to caddy at Highland Park golf course in St. Paul," Schulz wrote in the 1975 book, "Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others." "I don't recall ever knowing his first name, but just Schroeder seemed right for the character in the strip." Schulz died in 2000, aged 77.]

Source:   afNews/Goria/Autore_Tutti_i_diritti_riservati -  (accessed Aug 2006)


     Finally, here's an item from what appears to be a Turkish website on the same topic.  We're not exactly sure what it says, but since the words "Charles M. Schulz," "Harold F. Schroeder," "golf," the number "76," and a cartoon of the piano-playing Schroeder character all appear on the same page, we feel pretty safe in assuming that it has to do with our dad Harry:


Charles Martin Schulz'un bant çizgi romanı Peanuts, az sayıdaki Türkçe edisyonlarıyla ülkemizde fazla bir popülarite yakalayamadıysa da, mizahıyla olduğu kadar yan ürünleriyle de fenomen olmuş bir başyapıt. Çok sayıda karakteri birarada ele alan çizgi romanların da ilk örnekleri arasında gösterilen Peanuts'ın babası Schulz, karakterleri nasıl yarattığını alatırken, Lucy'nin kara sevdası olup piyano başında vakit geçiren akıllı uslu Schroeder'in esin kaynağını şöyle açıklıyordu:

"Birlikte golf kursu aldığımız bir çocuğun soyadıydı Schroeder. Önadını belki de hiç öğrenmemiştim, hatırlayamıyorum, ama yıllar sonra çizgi romanda yarattığım karakter için bu isim biçilmiş kaftandı..."

Schulz'un sanatı ve kaynakları üzerine yapılan bir araştırmada tam adının Harold F. Schroeder olduğu henüz tespit edilen bu karakterin, kısa süre önce 76 yaşında öldüğü ortaya çıktı. Kaderin bir cilvesi olsa gerek, onu ölümsüzleştiren Schulz da, 2000 yılında, 77 yaşındayken hayata veda etmişti.

Schulz'un ölümünün ardından çok sayıda çizgi roman ustası saygılarını kendi sanatlarıyla ortaya koymuştu. Bunlardan birkaç örnek için tıklayın:

Source:  (accessed Sept 2006)


Now THAT should convince you!


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