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In the interim, May married a fellow Montgomery Ward employee and became a father again, but he still struggled financially.

2011 Rudolph Saves Christmas

In short order, May licensed a commercial version of the book along with a full range of Rudolph-themed merchandise including puzzles, View-Master reels, snow globes, mugs and slippers with sheep wool lining and leather soles. After Bing Crosby reportedly turned down the chance, singing cowboy Gene Autry recorded the song, which sold 2 million copies in the first year and remains one of the best-selling tunes of all time.

The song and merchandise sales made May financially comfortable, but hardly rich. After leaving Montgomery Ward in to manage the Rudolph commercial empire, May returned to his former employer seven years later. He continued to work as a copywriter until his retirement. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.

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Evelyn died just days before Christmas in Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character?

Tailsman Theatre Company Present ‘Rudolph Saves Christmas’ 17th Dec 5pm

A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book.

Wards went on to print, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

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The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. In fact, being different can be a blessing. However, the glurgified account of that event reproduced above, while essentially correct in its broad strokes, erroneously inverts a key aspect of the process: The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was not developed by a man who was seeking to bring comfort to his daughter as her mother lay dying of cancer and who subsequently sold his creation to a department store chain.

Instead, the Rudolph character and story was developed for commercial purposes by a Montgomery Ward copywriter at the specific request of his employer, and that copywriter then tested the story out on his own daughter during the development process to ensure it would appeal to children. Rudolph came to life in when the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company asked one of their copywriters, year-old Robert L. May, drawing in part on the tale of The Ugly Duckling and his own background he was often taunted as a child for being shy, small, and slight , settled on the idea of an underdog ostracized by the reindeer community because of his physical abnormality: a glowing red nose.

Looking for an alliterative name, May considered and rejected Rollo too cheerful and carefree a name for the story of a misfit and Reginald too British before deciding on Rudolph. Montgomery Ward distributed 2.