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Daily History

March 2 1904 Dr Seuss Born

On March 2nd 1904, Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr Seuss, the author and illustrator of such beloved children’s books as “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Geisel, who used his middle name (which was also his mother’s maiden name) as his pen name, wrote 48 books, including some for adults, that have sold well over 200 million copies and been translated into multiple languages. Dr Seuss books are known for their whimsical rhymes and quirky characters, which have names like the Lorax and the Sneetches and live in places like Hooterville.

Geisel graduated from Dartmouth College, where he was editor of the school’s humour magazine, and studied at Oxford University. There he met Helen Palmer, his first wife and the person who encouraged him to become a professional illustrator. Back in America, Geisel worked as a cartoonist for a variety of magazines and in advertising.

The first children’s book that Geisel wrote and illustrated, “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” was rejected by over two dozen publishers before making it into print in 1937. Geisel’s first bestseller, “The Cat in the Hat,” was published in 1957. The story of a mischievous cat in a tall striped hat came about after his publisher asked him to produce a book using 220 new-reader vocabulary words that could serve as an entertaining alternative to the school reading primers children found boring.

Other Dr Seuss classics include “Yertle the Turtle,” “If I Ran the Circus,” “Fox in Socks” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”

Some Dr Seuss books tackled serious themes. “The Butter Battle Book” (1984) was about the arms build up and nuclear war threat during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. “Lorax” (1971) dealt with the environment.

Many Dr Seuss books have been adapted for television and film, including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and “Horton Hears a Who!” In 1990, Geisel published a book for adults titled “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” that became a hugely popular graduation gift for high school and college students.

Geisel, who lived and worked in an old observatory in La Jolla, California, known as “The Tower,” died September 24, 1991, at age 87.

About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner, Writer, Teacher and Business Consultant. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications. Please consider donating, to support our social justice campaign, by clicking on the "Donations Page" button in the top menu.


19 thoughts on “March 2 1904 Dr Seuss Born

  1. “You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes
    You can steer yourself
    any direction you choose.”
    Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

    Posted by Dugutigui | March 2, 2012, 00:45
  2. Thanks for stopping by my Post today. And thanks for the heads-up regarding the good doctor’s birthday tomorrow! I will prepare green eggs & ham for breakfast! :0)

    Posted by T Hollis | March 2, 2012, 01:24
  3. I personally am looking forward to seeing the Lorax

    Posted by Beth, just being me | March 2, 2012, 04:41
  4. Hi,
    Great books, a very talented writer, and very interesting history. Thanks for the info. 😀

    Posted by magsx2 | March 2, 2012, 04:50
  5. Rest in Whoville, Doc!

    Posted by Marc Phillippe Babineau | March 2, 2012, 04:55
  6. Thanks for a little bit of history. Enjoyed it.

    Posted by Waldo "Wally" Tomosky | March 2, 2012, 05:19
  7. Nice one Craig, and thanks for following/liking my blog posts too! How ’bout an article about Edward Gorey? I read The Insect God, just before I left Canada.

    Posted by Roy | March 2, 2012, 08:32
  8. The good doctor railed against isolationists who tied to keep the US from confronting the Axis and their expansionist miitarism. Some great cartoons back in the day.

    Posted by eideard | March 2, 2012, 08:49

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