What is the life story of Dr. Seuss?

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

These famous words from the book "Oh the Place's You'll Go" have stirred the hearts of many a generation. But how well do you know its author Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss? An illustrator and children's author, Geisel went to many places and saw many things during his long career.

Becoming Dr. Seuss Geisel was forced to adopt the pseudonym Dr. Seuss when he was attending Dartmouth College to write in the college magazine "Jack-O- Lantern". He took this step to keep his identity a secret after he was stripped of his role as editor for breaking college rules. He added the prefix Dr." to his pen name because his father had always wanted him to practise medicine

After graduating from Dartmouth, he went to Oxford, where he studied Literature. He aspired to become a professor and a scholar on author Jonathan Swift, but more than lecture notes, his notebooks were filled with doodles. His classmate Helen Palmer (later his wife), who looked over his notebook, told him that he should take up drawing instead.

The write start

Before establishing himself as a cartoonist, Geisel worked in advertising for 30 years! And then one day on a voyage to Europe the rhythm of the ship's engines inspired him to write a poem that became his first children's book. "And to Think That Saw It on Mulberry Street."

However, the manuscript was allegedly rejected by at least 27 publishers. Geisel was on the verge of burning it when he bumped into McClintock, a college friend, published it. Years later, Geisel wrote a touching letter thanking McClintock for saving the book.

Like his characters, Geisel too was colourful and spontaneous. He spent 60 years building a private collection of hats from around the world. His collection ranged from fez and fedoras to sombreros and even a Viking helmet with horns. He kept the collection a secret and used it as a foundation for his book "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins." In fact, the New York Public Library organised an exhibition showcasing his unique collection a few years ago.

A noble cause

Concerns over the poor reading levels of children drove Geisel to write his bestselling book "The Cat in the Hat". Geisel read a report published in Life magazine in May 1954, stating that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. Geisel wrote a book using 250 words listed as important for first-graders to recognise by educationist William Ellsworth Spaulding. It remains a popular teaching aid even today.


Month-long celebration

The Springfield Museum in the U.S. has announced a month-long celebration in honour of their famous resident. You too can join in the fun virtually. The museum will hold an online birthday party with plenty of activities centred around the author and his memorable characters.

Are you an anti-masker?

Actor Mark Hamill of the "Star Wars" series lent his voice to "Will You Wear A Mask? I Ask," a Dr. Seuss-style book by Tom Ruegger in which two anthropomorphic characters chat about the need to wear masks in public and stay safe against COVID-19.


  • Say it right: Seuss is actually pronounced "Soice' (rhymes with "voice) and not ‘Soos’

  • Geisel won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984 whose citation read "for his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America's children and their parents".


Picture Credit : Google