I love Dr. Seuss—now as much as I ever did. The man was a genius. Theodor Seuss Geisel, born in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts, is definitely one of my favorite all time authors. I tend to forget about him since he was primarily a children’s author/cartoonist.
His parents were German immigrants and worked hard to give Theodor and his sister a stable and happy home. Geisel went to Dartmouth and later to Oxford. Well, he did not like academia and decided that seeing Europe would be more educational than going to Oxford. He met his first wife at Oxford, however, and her name was Helen Palmer. When he came back to the United States, Geisel worked as a cartoonist, but he mainly worked in advertising.
As World War II became imminent, Geisel focused on political cartoons and helped make training films for the army. He was already too old to enlist, but wanted to help the war effort. He learned about animation and he still continued to submit to magazines. He decided to do a children’s book and was actually rejected 27 times before And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was published.
Later, he was asked to come up with a new book for teaching children to read, as the old Dick and Jane books were getting stale. He wrote and illustrated The Cat in the Hat and the rest is history. The Cat in the Hat reminds me of my brother and I and some scrapes we could get into that no one ever realized. Even today, as we are having a “Stanley, what have you gotten us into this time” moment, I think of The Cat in the Hat and it makes me laugh, harder.
Dr. Seuss (his middle name and his mother’s maiden name) died in 1991. His first wife had died in 1967 (she committed suicide due to illness and the affair her husband was involved in). Dr. Seuss remarried his friend, Audrey (with whom he was having the affair). She still is in charge of his works and runs Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
The world is a better place be cause Dr. Seuss wrote 44 children’s books that are enjoyed all over the world.