Theodore Seuss Geisel III - The Great American Children's Poet

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Dr. Seuss:

The Great American Children's Poet

Dr. Seuss is the pseudonym for Theodor Seuss Geisel III, Ted Geisel to

his friends. He originally thought of his pen name being pronounced zo-oice

which is the German pronunciation. He took his middle name from his

mother's maiden name.

He was born in 1904 to Theodor Jr. and Henrietta Geisel of Springfiel

Massachusetts. Both sets of grandparents were from Germany. Theodor Jr.

was a wealthy brewer and tavern owner until the Prohibition. Then he

worked as the manager of the Springfield Zoo. Ted also had an older sister

named Marnie. He went to college at Dartmouth and graduate school at

Oxford. While at Dartmouth he got into a bit of trouble when the police

arrested him for drinking. (This was during the Prohibition.) As punishment

he was kicked off the school magazine, The Jack O'Lantern, to which he

contributed as a cartoonist.

To get around the rule he began to sign his work

as Dr. Seuss. And that is why Ted Geisel became Dr. Seuss. While at Oxford

he met his first wife Helen Palmer to whom he was married for 40 years until

her death. They moved to New York. While in New York he worked drawing

cartoon advertisments for Flit, an insect repellant. It was he who coined the

phrase "Quick Henry, the Flit" which was to 1930s advertising what "Just

Do It" is to 1990s advertising. Sort of.

They later moved to La Jolla, California where Ted lived for the rest of

his life. They loved children although they were unable to have any of their

own. About five years after Helem's death he married Audrey Stone. He died

in 1991 in his sleep at the age of 87. He wrote 57 books spanning seven

decadesfrom 1939's And To...