Author Dr. Seuss

Dr Seuss
Dr. Seuss - American children's author, poet, political cartoonist
  • He was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield Massachusetts.
  • His father ran the family brewery until it was closed because of prohibition.
  • Geisel was manager of his high school soccer team.
  • He went to Dartmouth College and graduated in 1925.
  • While at college he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the college humor magazine.
  • At college he was caught drinking gin with 9 of his friends. He was forced to give up all extracurricular activities because of prohibition laws. He continued to write for the college magazine under the pen name Seuss.
  • After college, Geisel enrolled in Oxford to earn a PhD in English literature. His future wife Helen Palmer talked him into dropping out to pursue a drawing career in 1927.
  • His first nationally published cartoon appeared in the July 16, 1927 issue of The Saturday Evening post.
  • Later that year, Geisel accepted a job as a writer and illustrator for the humor magazine the Judge.
  • About six months after he started working at the Judge his first worked signed “Dr. Seuss” was published.
  • He added the Dr. because his father wanted him to practice medicine.
  • He supported himself and his wife through the Great Depression by drawing advertising for GE, NBC, Standard Oil, and many more companies.
  • From his drawing career he became wealthy and he and his wife had visited 30 countries by 1936.
  • On an ocean voyage back from Europe the rhythm of the ship’s engine inspired the poem that became his first book “And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street.”
  • Mulberry Street was less a mile from his boyhood home in Springfield.
  • According to Geisel, the Mulberry Street book was rejected over 20 times. Geisel was walking home, intending to burn the manuscript, when he chanced across an old Dartmouth acquaintance. That encounter led to the book’s publication.
  • During WWII he was a political cartoonist and worked for the PM, a liberal New York City daily newspaper.
  • Many of Geisel’s cartoons were highly critical of isolationists, including Charles Lindbergh.
  • He produced several short films for the US Army including “Design for Death” which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
  • For books that he wrote, but that someone else illustrated, he used the pen name Theo LeSieg (“LeSieg” is Geisel spelled backward).
  • Geisel was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth in 1956, thus justifying the “Dr.” in his Dr. Seuss pen name.
  • Geisel and his wife, Helen, never had any children. He is quoted as saying, “You have ’em; I’ll entertain ’em.”
  • He died of oral cancer on September 24, 1991 at his home in La Jolla at the age of 87.
Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham