Charlie Brown is the main protagonist of the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. Like Schulz, Charlie Brown is the son of a barber; but whereas Schulz’s work is described as the “most shining example of the American success story”, Charlie Brown is an example of “the great American un-success story” in that he fails in almost everything he does. Personality-wise, he is very innocent, simple, kind-hearted with many many anxieties, and is really shy.
Charlie Brown is a “lovable loser”, a child possessed of endless determination and hope, but who is ultimately dominated by his insecurities. He first appeared in 1947, three years before Peanuts started, in a comic strip by Charles M. Schulz called Li’l Folks. He later appeared in the first Peanuts comic strip, on October 2, 1950. He is one of the best-known characters in Peanuts and is considered to be the main character in the strip. Charlie Brown is always referred to by his full name (with the exception of Peppermint Patty who calls him ‘Chuck,’ and Marcie and Eudora who calls him ‘Charles’) and his usual catchphrase is “good grief”. Charlie Brown stated in an early strip (November 3, 1950) that he was “only four years old”, but he aged over the next two decades, being six years old as of November 17, 1957 and “eight-and-a-half years old” by July 11, 1979. Later references continue to peg Charlie Brown as being approximately eight years old. Another early strip, on October 30, 1950, has Patty and Shermy wishing Charlie Brown a happy birthday on that day, although they are not sure they have the date right.