**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
> Bobs 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 a make one - a
> storybook! Bob had created a 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.
> 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
> 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.