Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a song and popular Christmas story about Santa Claus's ninth and lead reindeer who possesses an unusually red-colored nose that gives off its own light, powerful enough to illuminate the team's path through inclement weather.
The story is owned by The Rudolph Company, L.P. and has been sold in numerous forms including a popular song, a television special (done in stop motion animation), and a feature film. Rudolph was created by Robert L. May in 1939 as part of his employment with Montgomery Ward. Character Arts, LLC  manages the licensing for the Rudolph Company, L.P. Although the story and song have not passed into public domain, they have established themselves as folklore (as evidenced by the development of local variations and parodies such as "Deadeye the Lonesome Cowboy," collected in the field by Simon J. Bronner and included in American Children's Folklore).