Remembering Rudolph and his creator, Robert L May
December 29, 2013 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Robert L May was a bit of an outcast as a child. He skipped a few grades and was younger and smaller than his classmates.

Robert L May dreamed of writing the great American novel, but instead, became a catalog writer at Montgomery Ward in Chicago. It was here in 1939 that he wrote Rudolph and 2 million copies were made and distributed to children.

The company later gave Robert L May the rights to the story.[NPR audio story]

See and hear the original sketches and story read by his daughter.

May managed the career of Rudolph in his later years, which included a song written by his brother-in-law Johnny Marks and sung by Gene Autry in 1949. (YT link).

The original Rudolph scrapbook was found in Dartmouth's archives..

posted by Wolfster (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I love that they gave him the rights. His daughter says it, and I agree..they really had no idea what they had.
posted by nevercalm at 9:25 AM on December 29, 2013

In an alternate 2013, employees at Montgomery Ward remain in disbelief that some dumb reindeer is the only thing keeping the chain in business.
posted by dr_dank at 10:39 AM on December 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

What about Olive, the other reindeer?
posted by mule98J at 2:57 PM on December 29, 2013

My mind is blown before breakfast.
posted by Mezentian at 4:58 PM on December 29, 2013

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