<i>Peanuts</i> Creator Battles Cancer

Charles M. Schulz, who began his Peanuts cartoon strip in 1950, has colon cancer. Schulz's wife told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that the cancer was discovered earlier in the week.

Schulz, who turned 77 on November 16th, was at work when he told employees he didn't feel well and that his legs hurt. Doctors at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital cleared a blockage of the abdominal aorta that carries blood from the heart to the lower body.

Schulz began drawing Peanuts in 1950. The 49-year-old comic strip chronicling the friendships and foibles of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and Woodstock will continue to appear in newspapers at least through the first of the year because Schulz works more than five weeks ahead of publication. Peanuts is distributed to twenty six hundred newspapers in 75 countries.