Who Shel Silverstein really is..

By: Jaden Stanley


Sheldon Allan Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 25, 1930. Shel had a happy childhood saying "When I was a kid-12, 14 around there-I would have much rather have been a good baseball player or a hit with the girls. But I couldn't play ball. I couldn't dance. . . . So I started to draw and write." Shel graduated from Roosevelt High School and went on to the University of Illinois at Navy Pier were he was thrown out after one year of study. He then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts for a year. After that he went to Roosevelt University in Chicago for three years, but never finished because he was drafted in 1953 to the United States military and served in Korea and Japan.
Shel was married and later divorced after having a daughter. His daughter, Shanna, was born on June 30th 1970.
Shel wrote many songs as well and because he wasn't a good singer he gave them to many famous artists to sing them. For example, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Jerry Lee Lewis and many more. Some of his more well known songs are "A Boy Named Sue" and "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh."
Shel wrote and had many books published, his more famous ones were for children but he wrote for adults as well. Some of his books include: The Giving Tree, The Missing Piece, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic,The Missing Piece Meets the Big O and Falling Up.
Shel won awards for many of his books including: The Michigan Young Readers Award for Where the Sidewalk Ends (1981); a School Library Journal Best Books (1982) for A Light in the Attic, and an International Reading Association's Children's Choices Award for The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. He also recorded ten poems from his book Where the Sidewalk Ends and ended up winning a Grammy for it.
Shel was more then just a poet and songwriter he was a well known cartoonist, and musician as well. When he was in the war he drew cartoons for a newspaper and Playboy. He also illustrated all three of his books of poems for children.

Shel Silverstein sadly died on May 10, 1999.