Dr. Seuss

Theodore Seuss Geisel

Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) is one of the most valued children’s books writers of American history. You probably know him because of The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, but most people don’t know who he really is and his story.

He was born on March 4th, 1904. He was raised on Fairfield Street in Springfield, Massachusetts and attended Springfield Central High School. After High School, he attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. His writing and drawing and humor really took off there. He became editor of Jack-o-Lantern, the school’s humor magazine. In his senior year he was stripped of that job due to drinking during the times of Prohibition, so he started publishing cartoons under various pseudonyms including Dr. Seuss. That is when he officially adopted his pen name.

He married a Dartmouth classmate Helen Palmer, and his first real success was the “Quick, Henry, the Flit!” This catchphrase was featured in advertisements for the Flit bug repellent. The ads were of someone saying to Henry the catchphrase when there looked to be a massive cloud of bugs bearing down upon them. That phrase was the “Got Milk” of that time; everyone knew it. For the next three decades of his life, he made advertisements for all different companies, including GE, Ford, and many other big names.

His first children’s book was And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and he wrote eleven others until his HUGE success, The Cat in The Hat.  It is what he is most known for. The book surfaced from the Doctor’s ( 🙂 ) friend from the publishing company Houghton Mifflin asking him to write a book with 225 words that first graders should know. The Houghton Mifflin director also wanted the book to be entertaining for the kids. In nine months, Dr. Seuss had used 223 of the words and included 13 more in The Cat in The Hat. There has been a TV show made from it as well as a film. It really took off with the kids and parents of America.

March 2nd, a few days ago, would have been Seuss’ 109th birthday. But people have not forgotten. For one, Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in The Hat are number 5th and 9th on the all time best selling children’s books. But also Dr. Seuss’ birthday has been made National Read Across America Day by the National Education Association (NEA). It was created to promote reading in America, which fits him perfectly!


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