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Dr. Seuss history and work

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. Writing under the pen name Dr. Seuss, Theo Le Sieg, Rosetta Stone, becoming one of the most beloved writer, cartoonist, animator, book publisher, poet and artist.

A cartoon version of Horton Hatches the Egg, animated at Warner Bros. in 1942. Directed by Robert Clampett, it was presented as part of the Looney Tunes series.
Dr.Seuss/ public domain
Geisel's birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.
Dr. SeussPublic Domain/R.R.Cratty

Geisel’s parents, Theodor Robert and Henrietta (Seuss) Geisel, both came from hard working German immigrants. His father managed the family brewery and was later appointed to supervise Springfield's public park system. Dr.Seuss pulled many stories, and his work ethic, from his childhood. Mulberry Street in Springfield, made famous in Dr. Seuss' first children's book- And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street! -is less than a mile southwest of his boyhood home on Fairfield Street. Geisel was raised a Lutheran. He enrolled at Springfield Central High School in 1917 and graduated in 1921. Geisel attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1925. Spending the next two years at Lincoln College, Oxford. In February 1927, he returned to the United States, and began submitting his work to magazines, book publishers, and advertising agencies.

His first nationally published cartoon appeared in the July 16, 1927, issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Later that year, he accepted a job as writer and illustrator at the magazine Judge.

In 1936, he wrote his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Based on Geisel's varied accounts, the book was rejected by between 20 and 43 publishers. Geisel wrote four more books before the US entered World War II. This included The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins in 1938 as well as The King's Stilts and The Seven Lady Godivas in 1939. Followed by Horton Hatches the Egg in 1940, in which Geisel used of poetry.

In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. William Ellsworth Spaulding, the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin, compiled a list of 348 words he felt were important for first-graders to recognize and asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. Spaulding asked Geisel to "bring back a book children can't put down."

Nine months later, Geisel, using 236 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. It retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Geisel's earlier works, but because of its simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers.

Over the course of his long career, Geisel wrote over 60 books. Though most were published under his pseudonym, Dr. Seuss, he also authored books as Theo LeSieg and Rosetta Stone. His books have topped many bestseller lists, sold over 600 million copies, and been translated into more than 20 languages. His most-celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Fox in Socks, The King's Stilts, Hop on Pop, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! His last book, published the year before his death, was Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Geisel's birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.


Rhonda Cratty includes her experiences of 30 years of public school teaching, raising children of her own, and articles written for on-line and hard copy publications -within the pages of Learning at home. Learning at home can be purchased in print or eBook form through

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