Kuiper is wearing a knitted hat with reindeer antlers and ears. He looks very dejected.

A Word about Rudolph

Kuiper the blue-nosed whippet, had a very pointy nose. Now you can say you saw him, sad because he’s wearing clothes.

I only made him wear it once!! Please don’t sic @officialsarahmclachlan on me. 👼😂

On this day in 1950, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ranked the number 1 best-selling song in the United States. The character was created by Robert Lewis May, a catalog copywriter at Montgomery Ward in Chicago.

By January 1939, the mail order store had expanded to hundreds of physical department stores. Robert’s boss asked him to write a Christmas story to give away to shoppers as part of a marketing campaign. His boss suggested that he write a story about an animal.

Since Robert’s daughter Barbara loved the deer in the Chicago zoo, he pitched a story about an underdog reindeer working for Santa. His boss was not super enthusiastic; he said, “For gosh sakes, Bob, can’t you do better than that?” Robert went back to the drawing board, literally: he hired an artist friend to accompany him to the zoo. The boss approved the second, illustrated pitch.

Robert’s wife Evelyn had been battling cancer for two years by then, and Robert went into debt paying for her treatment. She sadly passed away in summer 1939. His boss offered to wrap up the project and call it complete. Robert refused, saying “I need Rudolph now more than ever.” 😭 When he finished writing, Robert read the final draft out loud to Barbara and to Evelyn’s parents. In 1975, he recalled, “In their eyes I could see that the story accomplished what I had hoped.”

The story was a hit; the company gave away 2.5 million copies in 1939, and 6 million in a second printing in 1946. You might assume that Robert was making bank on spin-offs by then, but in reality he was still in debt paying for his wife’s cancer treatments. In general, under US law, anything you create for your job becomes property of your employer. Thus Montgomery Ward owned the copyright to Rudolph.

Robert explained his situation to the company president in 1947, who then handed over the rights to Rudolph. Robert’s brother-in-law Johnny Marks turned his story into a song, Gene Autry recorded it, and the rest is history!

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsV3c3eDCrS/

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