Snoopy Is Good to His Owner Even in Death

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, world renowned for his Peanuts characters, announced his retirement in December 1999 and that his last Sunday comic strip would run in February 2000. The artist died Feb. 12, 2000, the day before his final Sunday comic strip was published in papers across the country.

    Just because celebrities pass away, it doesn't mean that they still don't earn money from beyond.

    Forbes annual list of the top-earning dead celebrities is out and not surprisingly the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, tops the list followed closely by Elvis Presley and the creator of Middle Earth and some of the most successful movies of all time, J.R.R. Tolkien.

    Perhaps the most surprising entry on a list that includes John Lennon at No. 5, Albert Einstein and George Steinbrenner is the name etched in the No. 4 spot.

    The man with a Bay Area connection is not a rock star or even an actor. He didn't even invent a gadget like the iPhone -- Steve Jobs is alive and well despite what some bloggers like to think.

    But instead the Bay Area's top entry and the No. 4 top-earning celebrity who is no longer with us is cartoonist Charles M. Schulz of "Peanuts" fame.

    The creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy passed away in 2000 but his lovable gang of characters is still syndicated in 2,200 newspapers across 75 countries.

    Schulz's estate, which happens to be in Santa Rosa where he spent his last days, earns $33 million a year, according to Forbes. The Charles M. Schulz's Museum and Research Center is also located in Santa Rosa.

    With money like that, it's a wonder his house was ever for sale.