CCSS: 6.EE.A.2.C, 7.EE.B.3, MP1, MP6

TEKS: 6.3D, 6.7D, 7.3A, 7.3B

By the Numbers: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Classic Media/Photofest

Happy birthday, Rudolph! The reindeer with a light-up nose just turned 80 years old. The first book featuring Rudolph, written by Robert L. May, was published in 1939. It was given to shoppers as a promotional item at Montgomery Ward department store. Ten years later, May’s brother-in-law Johnny Marks adapted the story into a song. Country singer Gene Autry recorded the song, and it hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts in December 1949.

Read on to learn more about Rudolph and actual reindeer. Then plug in the numbers to solve the equation below and reveal a final fact.


Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of American History

copies in the first printing of Rudolph’s story


Mark Hamblin/age fotostock/Getty Images

Average length in centimeters of a female reindeer’s antlers. It is the only species of deer in which the females grow antlers too!


 V. Belov/

Length in meters of the sprint in the annual reindeer racing championship in Tromsø, Norway. The next race will be in February 2020.



Number of TV specials and movies starring Rudolph since the first aired in 1964


Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Year that rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry recorded sequel song “Run Rudolph Run”

Records/Alamy Stock Photo (record)