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Lee Mendelson (1933–2019), “Peanuts” TV specials producer

Getty Images / WireImage / Beck Starr

Producer of “Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

Lee Mendelson was the executive producer for the beloved “Peanuts” TV special, “Charlie Brown Christmas.” He also produced “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and more than 50 other animated TV specials. Outside of “Peanuts,” he oversaw the “Garfield” and “Cathy” animated TV specials. Mendelson decided to hire jazz musician Vince Guaraldi to create music for “Charlie Brown Christmas” and he co-wrote the lyrics for the timeless song in that special, “Christmas Time Is Here.”

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Died: Wednesday, December 25, 2019 (Who else died on December 25?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 86.


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What they said about him: “He helped bring the holidays to life. What a gift he leaves us. Love to his family. RIP Lee Mendelson.” —Kristin Karnitz on Twitter

“Whenever I've felt down, Peanuts has helped me smile again. When I've been happy, Peanuts has been there to be make me even happier. Great team behind those wonderful characters. Farewell Lee Mendelson, you helped to help people more than you knew.” —Martin Wace on Twitter

Full obituary: Variety

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