Dr. Seuss

Thomas Blake


Generations of children have enjoyed the books written by Doctor Seuss, but who was Doctor Seuss?

The Early Years

Theodor Giesel spent his life trying to find what he really wanted to do, and eventually found it in the form of writing children's books. He was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA. Initially, he wanted to draw, so he attended Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth he was the editor of the school newspaper, The Jack-O-Lantern. During that time, Theodor and his friends got in trouble for buying alcohol. Theodor was forced to leave his position as the editor of the newspaper and he was not allowed to write under his name. Theodor wanted to continue to write his political cartoons, so he decided to use his mother's maiden name, and his own middle name, Seuss.

Theodore graduated from Dartmouth, but he did not know what he wanted to do with his life. He decided to attend Oxford University in England to study business and advertising. During his years at Oxford, he met Helen, who became his wife. Theodore and Helen moved back to America. He began writing political cartoons for a variety of newspapers.
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Dr. Seuss did not always write children's books. He began his career writing political cartoons during wartime and produced cartoons to educate the soldiers about the dangers they would face.

A Life's Passion

While at Oxford, Theodor drew a picture of a cow while sitting in class one day. Helen was in the class with him and noticed his drawing. Helen thought the drawing was wonderful and this conversation led to Theodor realizing that his life's passion was to draw and write children's books. When he eventually began writing children's books full time, Theodore would stay up all night writing a book and Helen would edit it for him the next morning.
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The Children's Books

The books that Dr. Seuss was so famous for were not always so famous. His first book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, was not very successful, and neither was his next book, The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins. Over time, those books began doing better and better and he began to make more money. He continued to write new books that became popular as he became a well known children's author.
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Dr. Seuss' Later Years

Dr. Seuss lived a very successful and relatively happy life. He wrote over 47 books. These books made him a lot of money for him and his family. Unfortunately, Helen was unable to have children due to illness. Theodor shared his wealth with his extended family, including his father and sister. Sadly, Helen was diagnosed with a deadly disease. She got better eventually, but she was depressed after the illness and committed suicide. This caused Theodor great sorrow. Through his work he met a woman named, Audrey. Theodor and Audrey married and lived happily until his death in 1991.

Pease, Donald. Theodor Seuss Geisel Lives and Legacies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.