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‘Peanuts’ Cartoonist Has Surgery

November 17, 1999

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) _ ``Peanuts″ cartoonist Charles M. Schulz was in stable condition today as he recovered from emergency surgery to clear a blocked abdominal artery.

Schulz’s wife, Jean, said the 76-year-old artist was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, about 45 miles north of San Francisco, on Tuesday after telling staff at his office he did not feel well.

He underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon and was in intensive care.

The hospital refused to release any information, but Mrs. Schulz told the Press Democrat that he was doing ``just fine.″ She said he would probably stay in the hospital about a week.

Schulz underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery in 1981.

``Peanuts″ appears in 2,600 newspapers and is the basis of a franchise that collects $1 billion per year.

Edna Poehner, Schulz’s secretary, said today the comic strip probably won’t be interrupted because it is drawn well ahead of publication.

``He should be back at the drawing board in plenty of time,″ she said.

Schulz keeps a low profile and is known as a workaholic around Sonoma County, where he moved from his native Minnesota 40 years ago. In 1997, he took his first break in 47 years to celebrate his 75th birthday, spending the five-week hiatus hanging around his offices at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, which he built in 1969.