A Complete History of Tux.
In the beginning, sometime in early 1996, several people were talking on the linux-kernel mailing list about a suitable logo/mascot for Linux. Of the many, many suggestions, many involved parodies of other operating system logo's - or were strong, noble beasts such as Sharks or Eagles. At some point (I'm not sure when), Linus Torvalds (the father of Linux) casually mentioned that he was rather fond of Penguins - which rather stopped the debate in its tracks.
After several attempts to draw Penguins in various poses, someone suggested a Penguin holding up the world