Theodor Seuss Geisel
Born: March 2, 1904
Died: September 24, 1991
Place of Birth: Springfield, Massachusetts
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Theodor Seuss Geisel, under the name Dr. Seuss, wrote and illustrated numerous children's books which had total sales of over two hundred million copies.
His father was the superintendent of a large park which included a zoo.
Geisel was encouraged to study the animals in the zoo and to read books from the library.
While attending Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, he became the editor-in-chief of the school magazine called the Jack-O-Lantern.
He began writing under the name "Seuss" after being barred by the college administration from working for the magazine because he hosted a drinking party.
Theodor Geisel attained his BA degree in 1925 and then pursued a doctorate at Oxford University only to drop out before completing his studies.
Returning to America in 1927, he began writing and drawing cartoons for various magazines.
It was around this time that he adopted the name Dr. Seuss, even though he had not completed his doctorate program, and wrote and illustrated several books.
Geisel also worked in advertising and received national recognition for work on a product called "Flit".
During World War II, Theodor Geisel did political cartoons and wrote documentaries for the army.
One of his animated cartoons, Gerald McBoing-Boing, won him his first Oscar, and he had considerable success with writing books for children.
In 1954, because it appeared children were losing their literacy skills at the time, he wrote a book called Cat in the Hat which
used a suggested list of words for children given to him by Life magazine.
Dr. Seuss books were noted for their basic vocabulary and poetry along with the use of zany characters.
His books were very popular with both children and adults and several were made into movies and special television shows.
Theodor Geisel made reading fun for children and he won numerous honors including a Pulitzer Prize and three Academy Awards.
Last Updated: January 16, 2017
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