person's a person, no matter how small," Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a.
Dr. Seuss, would say. "Children want the same things we want. To laugh,
to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." Brilliant, playful,
and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness
of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped
millions of kids learn to read.
Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield , Massachusetts , on March
2, 1904. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, he went to Oxford
University , intending to acquire a doctorate in literature. At Oxford ,
Geisel met Helen Palmer, whom he wed in 1927. Upon his return to America
later that year, Geisel published cartoons and humorous articles for Judge,
the leading humor magazine in America at that time. His cartoons also appeared
in major magazines such as Life, Vanity Fair, and Liberty . Geisel gained
national exposure when he won an advertising contract for an insecticide
called Flit. He coined the phrase,"Quick, Henry, the Flit!" which became
a popular expression.
Geisel published his first children's book, And to Think That I Saw It on
Mulberry Street, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it. The Cat in the
Hat, perhaps Geisel's best-known book, was his 13th book for children and
he wrote it in response to a perceived literacy crisis in the United States
. When Random House published The Cat in the Hat in March of 1957, it was
an immediate hit and ultimately revolutionized the way American children
learned to read.
In 1968 Ted married the former Audrey Stone, who become his second wife,
and also gained two stepdaughters: fifteen-year-old Lark and eleven-year-old
Lea. However, for over half of his career as a children's author, Dr. Seuss
had no children.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards,
three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated
44 books. While Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives
on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of