Charles Willis “Santa Claus” Howard

Charles Willis “Santa Claus” Howard

Albion, Orleans County, New York, USA
Death 1 May 1966 (aged 69)
Newfane, Niagara County, New York, USA
Burial Albion, Orleans County, New York, USA
Plot 1026 MRGLD
Memorial ID 81157310 · View Source
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Charles W. Howard lived his entire life in the town of Albion, New York. Those in town knew him as Charlie but hundreds of thousands came to know Charlie by his alter-ego of Santa Claus. In 1937 Charlie opened a Santa Claus School in his family home in Albion in order to teach his Santa philosophies and methods. Many department stores across the U.S.A. sent thier Santas and executives to Howard to be properly trained. Charlie became famous for perfecting the art of playing the role of Santa.

In the 1940s, Howard developed Christmas Park as an attraction for children where student Santas could get practice interacting with children by portraying Santa and his helpers at the park. At it's peak, Christmas Park attracted up to 80,000 visitors yearly.

From 1948 to 1965, Howard was the featured Santa Claus in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. However, Howard never portrayed Santa in Macy's NYC flagship store.

Howard also appearanced on TV shows such as 'What's My Line', 'To Tell the Truth' and the 'Tonight Show'. He was featured in many magazines and newspapers including the 'Saturday Evening Post' and was hired as consultant for the 1947 movie 'Miracle on 34th Street'.

For a time Howard also ran a correspondence course for Santas, which both James Cagney and Orson Welles took. Howard also once owned Medina Toy Company in Medina NY along with the Santa Claus Suit Company which sold "proper" attire for Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, & thier elves.

Charles W. Howard passed away on May 1, 1966 at the age of 69 only six weeks before his 70th birthday. Charlie's beloved Christmas Park was closed, and his Santa Claus School was passed on to Howard's chosen successor, Nathan Doan who along with his wife Mary Ida, moved the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School to the state of Michigan where it still operates under current Santa Claus Tom Valent and his wife Mrs. Claus Holly Valent.

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  • Created by: GenQV
  • Added: 28 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 81157310
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Willis “Santa Claus” Howard (15 Jun 1896–1 May 1966), Find A Grave Memorial no. 81157310, citing Mount Albion Cemetery, Albion, Orleans County, New York, USA ; Maintained by GenQV (contributor 46570387) .