Saturday, 18 December 2010

The real story of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reinder
this youtube post is the original cartoon from 1948
The True Story of Rudolph

A man 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. Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's 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.
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 to 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 back 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.


  1. What a great story here!
    Would you mind if I linked to you, and your fabulous post?

    I popped over from a new "follower" and then saw the horse in your "profile " picture and popped over here to your place. I have a horsey blog and recently posted, "RUDOLF horse version" Not a detailed story mind you, jsut a video of my mare...doing an impression!

  2. By all means use it at will. I put it out there for an interest it could muster. Did you check out the Video. It actually is really good.

  3. By the way my horse is named Canadian Lady Bird and she is all girl !!!!!! She is 9 now and I use her in Parades in our town in the summer. I trained her to stand at attention and bow to the Canadian Flag, It is so much fun and heart warming for people to see it. Especially in parades. That is the only trick I ever make her do.

  4. it is a very touching story. thanks for sharing coz this is actually the first time I have read it. I love the song and now after reading the story behind it--Rudolph means a lot more to me!

  5. dear sonny..i just read this post to mom golden.
    at times it was very hard to read out loud because my eyes welled up with tears and my throat was getting choked!
    sonny, i must tell you how proud i am of you that you have not only been a success on this your blog but you have also brought such happiness to people, now your good friends from almost every corner of the world!
    love ya'......god bless you! terry

  6. Amazing Story! Glad to have read this! Found you from All horse stuff's blog. Thanks for sharing!

    Christmas Blessings
    Patrina <")>><