Snoopy, the world’s best-known and accomplished beagle, debuted in Charles M. Schulz's "Peanuts" comic strip in 1950.
In the beginning, Schulz portrayed the loyal pet of Charlie Brown on all fours. Snoopy first appeared upright on two legs in 1956 while ice-skating on a frozen lake.
Despite being cast as a sidekick, Snoopy grew more popular than his master, enduring as "Peanuts' " best-known character.
In his daydreams, Snoopy stretched atop his doghouse imagining wrestling the skies from the Red Baron as a member of the French Foreign Legion or writing a literary masterpiece.
Outside of his imagination, Snoopy provided comic relief within the "Peanuts" cartoon universe, often mistaken by the children as "the funny looking kid with a big nose." In a running quip, Snoopy frequently tried to steal Linus' blanket and kiss Lucy, although she was afraid of dog germs.
With a career spanning over half a century, Snoopy has starred in 45 television specials, five motion picture films and one Saturday morning TV show.
The popularity of the cartoon beagle has also transcended children’s entertainment and secured a place in American history. Following the cabin fire during the Apollo 1 mission, Snoopy became the official mascot of aerospace safety and the rebuilding of the Apollo program. The lunar module for the Apollo 11 mission was also named after the pup.
When France gave Schulz one of the nation's highest awards for the arts in 1990, it was no coincidence that year marked Snoopy’s 40th in existence.
"Thank you for being the creator of Snoopy, full of humor and with a zest for life," French Culture Minister Jack Lang told Schulz. "Your character is both mythical and hedonistic and he has taken over our collective consciousness and become a part of our everyday lives."