On the night before Christmas Eve, he was persuaded to attend his office Christmas Party. He took the poem along and showed it to a colleague. The colleague was impressed and insisted that Robert read his poem aloud to everyone else at the party. Somewhat embarrassed by the attention, he took the small hand written volume from his pocket and began to read. At first the noisy group listened in laughter and amusement. But then became silent and after he finished, they broke into spontaneous applause.
Later, and feeling quite pleased with himself, he went home, wrapped the book in Christmas wrapping and placed it under the modest Christmas tree. To say that his daughter was pleased with her present would be an understatement. She loved it!
When Robert returned to work after the Holiday, he was summoned to the office of his head of department. He wanted to talk to Bob about his poem. It seemed that word had got out about his reading at the Christmas party. The Head of Marketing was looking for a promotional tool and wondered if Robert would be interested in having his poem published.
The following year, 1939, printed copies of the book were given to every child who visited the department stores of Montgomery Ward and it eventually became an international best seller, making Robert a rich man. His wife had unfortunately died during this time, but he was able to move from the small apartment and buy a big house. He was at last able to provide handsomely for his growing daughter.
The story is not quite over. In 1947, songwriter Johnny Marks used the theme of Robert's poem for a song. He showed the song to a famous film star of the day, Gene Autry, ‘The Singing Cowboy'. Autry recorded the song and it became a world-wide number one hit. You may just remember it. The first line goes....”Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose.....!”