Celebrity Sad News for 'Peanuts' By People Staff Published on December 4, 1998 12:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip that appears in some 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries around the world, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. The malignancy was discovered when Schulz, 76, underwent emergency surgery for a blocked abdominal aorta last Tuesday in Santa Rosa, about 45 miles north of San Francisco. Schulz’s wife Jean said doctors were determining the best course of treatment, which can include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. One consideration is that Schulz, who turns 77 on Friday, is still recuperating from the abdominal surgery. The cartoonist, who draws each “Peanuts” strip himself and generally works five weeks in advance, has created enough new strips to fill papers through the end of the year and enough Sunday features to meet the demand through Feb. 14, 2000, said his publisher, United Feature Syndicate.