His Legacy, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer ~ What will your legacy be?
Robert Lewis May ~ July 27, 1905 - August 10, 1976
Did you know the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was written by Robert L. May in 1946 as a marketing piece for Montgomery Wards? Montgomery Wards wanted to produce their own book to hand out as children visited Santa (instead of purchasing coloring books from else ware, smart).
The original story was a bit different than the one we know today, and quite charming. Robert L. May’s Rudolph grew up in an ordinary reindeer village. He was teased by other young reindeer for having a shiny red nose; however, he was adored by his parents, they were very proud of him and raised him to be a positive, strong individual.
Santa discovered Rudolph as he was delivering gifts one foggy Christmas Eve. Rudolph’s nose beamed through his bedroom window and caught Santa’s eye through the dense fog. Santa asked Rudolph to help, who could say no to Santa, and was very thankful once the deliveries were made.
Robert L. May was a small boy who was picked on himself for his small stature. His story reflected some of his own personal memories.
I’m curious what impact the message, in the original story, would have been? Be valued for just being YOU? Knowing that what may look to the outside would as a flaw, may just be your greatest gift. I adore the story we all know by heart, I do wonder even still.
Robert was struggling financially due to medical bills, his wife was terminally ill, some say, with cancer. She died at the same time Rudolf was being created. Since Robert was an employee of Montgomery Wards they owned the copyrights. He persuaded Montgomery Ward’s president to turn the copyright over to him to help with the financial situation.
Robert L. May’s life had been made comfortable buy the story he shared with the world.
So, what will your legacy be?