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Schulz, Seuss Among Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities

Forbes‘ list of The Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities of 2020 include two cartoonists.


Charles Schulz, with his Peanuts empire, is a regular member of this group since his death twenty years ago. Helping Schulz to remain on the list this year was a nice Peanuts deal with Apple TV+ (you may have heard about the Peanuts specials being, temporarily, unavailable for broadcast television).

As for Dr. Seuss, Forbes mentions the reason for his entry:

Sam-I-Am now has a lot more green to go with those eggs and ham. The estate of Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) nearly doubled its income in 2020, earning an estimated $33 million in a very Grinch-like year.

The bigger payday is thanks to a smart new strategy from the team at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which transformed the beloved children’s author’s 60-plus books into a multimedia universe. Think Marvel’s Avengers but without the crossover characters…

Go to Forbes for the full Seuss story and the full list of celebrities.

Peanuts © Peanuts Worldwide LLC; Grinch © Dr. Seuss Enterprises

Celebrity Net Worth has more details of the billion dollar lifetime earnings of Sparky:

The first Peanuts cartoon ran on October 2, 1950. Schulz was 28 years old. That first year, just seven newspapers ran Peanuts. The following year a few more signed on and Schulz earned $90 a week in royalties. That’s equal to $901 a week today. By 1953, Peanuts was a bonafide hit and Schulz was earning $30,000 a year, which is equal to $292,000 today.

At its peak, Peanuts was syndicated to more than 2,600 newspapers in 71 countries and 21 languages every day. Peanuts also made a fortune with merchandise and endorsements. By the 1980s Schulz was the highest-paid celebrity in the world by far, with $30 million in royalties. That’s equal to $65 million today. From 1990 until his death in 2000 he earned $40 million a year. His obituary stated that he had made more than $1 billion between 1950 and 2000 from the sale of merchandise, television shows, and endorsements.



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