By: E&P Staff
“Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz is once again in the company of Elvis Presley — and is now joined by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
Schulz usually finishes second in Forbes magazine’s yearly list of the top-earning dead celebrities. But in the sixth-annual ranking released this week, the late cartoonist came in third (his estate made $35 million during the past year), Elvis second ($42 million), and Cobain first ($50 million). Cobain zoomed to the top spot after his widow, Courtney Love, sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalogue.
Finishing fourth through 13th were John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, Dr. Seuss (who was also an editorial cartoonist for a short time), Ray Charles, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Cash, “Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkein, George Harrison, and Bob Marley.
The Schulz estate earned its money through such means as “Peanuts” comic reruns syndicated by United Media, the continued sale of many licensed “Peanuts” products, and the appearance of “Peanuts” characters in ads.
Forbes’ list was linked on DailyCartoonist.com, which noted that annual “Peanuts” earnings rose from $20 million in 2001 to $35 million this year. Schulz died in 2000.