The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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The year 1939 provided us with favorite movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, which won Oscars and have set record movie sales, both at the box office and through the sale of first videos and now DVD’s. The two movies, however, are not the only things in the entertainment field that occurred in 1939; the world also was introduced to the Christmas story of “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

There are two different offerings of how Robert “Bob” May wrote the beloved book about the little reindeer that was so different from his peers and longed to be accepted. Facts for both accounts indicate that May’s wife Evelyn was diagnosed with cancer and died before the book was completed. Their little daughter Barbara had asked her father why her mother wasn’t like all the other mommies who laughed, played and baked cookies with their little girls. The fable continues that May was too poor to purchase his little girl a Christmas gift, so he wrote the story about the little reindeer just for her. Montgomery Ward’s CEO supposedly learned about the story and asked to publish a book for promotional handouts to children as they visited Santa in Montgomery Wards.


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