7. His song went down in history

Marks, who in 1949 penned his tune about a reindeer with an incandescent snout, initially was reluctant to lend the song rights to television. Recorded by Gene Autry, Andy Williams and others, “Rudolph” was his gold mine, and he feared overexposing it. Marks not only relented, he wound up writing all the show’s other songs.

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