The last of a dying breed.
THE LITTLE RED HAIRED GIRL IN ‘PEANUTS’.
The Little Red-Haired Girl is an unseen character in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, and is a symbol of unrequited love.
A former coworker, Donna Johnson (born circa 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota), was Schulz’s inspiration for the character. A 1947 high school graduate, Johnson was working in the accounting department of the Art Instruction, Inc., a correspondence school where Schulz worked. Johnson and Schulz eventually became romantically involved and dated for three years, but in 1950 when Schulz proposed to her, she refused him, ended the relationship and abruptly married fireman Allan Wold on October 21, 1950. Schulz was devastated, but he and Johnson-Wold remained friends for the rest of his life.
Said Schulz of the relationship, “I can think of no more emotionally damaging loss than to be turned down by someone whom you love very much. A person who not only turns you down, but almost immediately will marry the victor. What a bitter blow that is.” This experience became arguably the most poignant of all story lines for the entire Peanuts strip.