Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2: Dr. Seuss

On this date in History ..... 1904:

Theodor Seuss Geisel is born in Mass. Twenty years later, after being removed from his editor-in-chief position of a college humor magazine with Dartmouth College for drinking in his dorm on campus, which was in violation not only of school policy but of Prohibition Law, he was forced to invent his pen name of “Dr. Seuss” (his middle name which was also his mother's maiden name) so he could be published. He published 44 books and only 4 of them were not written in rhyme. 

His father, a brewmaster, wanting his son to be a professor, so after graduating from Dartmouth, Geisel went to Oxford University in England where he met his wife. The year they were married, he dropped out of school and came back to America where he began earning a living as a cartoonist and eventually drawing cartoon-like advertisements for Standard Oil, a job he held for fifteen years.

Viking Press gave him his introduction to illustrating children’s books. Geisel’s first book “And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street” was rejected 27 times before it was published, becoming the first of 44 books to be published by the author.  (Only four of those books were not written in rhyme.)

He also drew propaganda posters and made animated training films for the War Department during WWII, featured a character named “Private Snafu”.

In 1954, Life Magazine published an article criticizing children’s reading levels. Two publishing houses challenged him to write a children’s book using only 200 vocabulary words. The challenge was met with the Seuss icon book of “Cat in the Hat.”

At the time of his death on September 24, 1991, Ted had written and illustrated 44 children's books, including such all-time favorites as Green Eggs and Ham, Oh, the Places You'll Go, Fox in Socks, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. His books had been translated into more than 15 languages. Over 200 million copies had found their way into homes and hearts around the world.

Besides the books, his works have provided the source for eleven children's television specials, a Broadway musical and a feature-length motion picture. Other major motion pictures are on the way.

His honors included two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award and the Pulitzer Prize.”    (Quote Source: )


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