Lee Mendelson

Mr. Mendelson has been a life long resident of the bay area; grew up in San Mateo and studied creative writing at Stanford University. After graduation, he spent three years in the Air Force where he served as a lieutenant. When he returned from the service he worked for his father.

In 1961, Mr. Mendelson’s television career began to take shape; began working at San Francisco's KPIX television station creating public service announcements. Upon finding antique film from the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair, Mendelson began his first production, The Innocent Fair which garnered Mr. Mendelson with a Peabody award. Mendelson struck out on his own and formed his own production company; producing a documentary on Willie Mays; A Man Named Mays. Shortly after the documentary aired, Mendelson came across a Peanuts comic strip; revealing the saga of Charlie Brown's baseball team. Mendelson thought that since he'd just "done the world's greatest baseball player, now [he] should do the world's worst baseball player, Charlie Brown."[1] Let’s just day the rest is PEANUTS history.

Writer-producer-director Lee Mendelson recently celebrated his 50th year of production, including over 250 animated productions ("Peanuts", "Garfield", and "Cathy"); which have received 10 Emmys and 22 other Emmy nominations. He also wrote the lyrics to "Christmas Time Is Here" for the Emmy winning special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Mendelson also authored a New York Times best-seller on “The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas". He currently is working on the ABC-TV special "50 Years of Charlie Brown".

Along with the animated specials Mendelson has produced 50 live network specials (from documentaries to musical variety), starring the likes of Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, Gene Kelly, Paul Newman, Bing Crosby, Whoopi Goldberg and two Emmy winners with author John Steinbeck.

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