Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer first appeared in a short story written by Montgomery Ward department stores copywriter Robert L. May in 1939 and was produced by them as a yearly Christmas giveaway from then until 1946.
In 1946, at May’s request to help with his wives’ medial expenses, the company gave him the copyright to the story and it saw it’s first large public printing.
Later Rudolph was placed even more firmly in the public’s imagination via a cartoon from the Max Fleischer studio (Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman,) and then by the famous song written by Johnny Marks and sung by Gene Autry.
Then starting in 1950, and going until 1962, DC Comics published a Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Comic once a year each December.
They returned to doing this again from 1972 to 1977.
The song continues to still be one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time.
Also, just so you know
It appears that Rudolph may either be a castrated male, or a female, as male reindeer always loose their antlers before December, and yet Rudolph, (and the rest of Santa’s) is drawn with either small antler buds, or full antlers, so it would have to be one or the other. Sorry kids, that’s nature science.
Unless it’s just a side effect of the magic Elf potion that Santa gives them so they can fly.
Yeah! That must be it.
Also early in his career Rudolph had a rival for becoming the 9th reindeer in another department store’s annual publication in comic book from of The Adventures of Stubby, Santa’s Smartest Reindeer.
The song of course blew Stubby out of the sky for keeps.