Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

I had never heard the story of where Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came
from. Hard to believe the gesture Montgomery Wards made!

The story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Did you know the origin of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?
I had never heard this story.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!

A guy named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty

apartment window into the chilling December night.. His 4-year-old daughter,

Barbara, sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of

cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come

home. Barbara looked up into her dads eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just

like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with

tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been

the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Being

small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too

little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd

rather not remember.

From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did

complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as

a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was

blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with

cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were

forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died

just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his child,

for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't

buy a gift, he was determined a make one - a storybook!

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's

story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. 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? 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. But the story doesn't end there. 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 1946 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. In

an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights

back to Bob May. 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.

But the story doesn't end there either. Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks,

made a song adaptation to Rudolph. 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. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in

1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other

Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas." The gift of love

that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning to bless

him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear

friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad.. In fact, being different

can be a blessing!

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