Say hello to Dr. Seuss, a rhymer that rhymes both tight and loose. A BRI favorite he yes, really is; the complying with story is really his.

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Vital Stats

Born: in march 2, 1904 Died: September 25, 1991, age 87 Real Name: Theodore Seuss Geisel

He adopted “Seuss” together his composing name during Prohibition, when attending Dartmouth College. The reason: the was caught with a half-pint the gin in his room and also was told to resign as editor of the college humor magazine together punishment. Instead, he simply stopped using Geisel together a byline.Years later, he included “Dr.” to his name “to sound an ext scientific.” the didn’t officially come to be a doctor until 1956, once Dartmouth gave him one honorary doctorate.

Career Stats

Accomplishments: He wrote 48 books, selling an ext than 100 million duplicates in 20 languages. (Including four of the peak 10 bestselling hardcover children’s publications of every time: The Cat in the Hat, environment-friendly Eggs and also Ham, Hop on Pop, and One Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.)

As a filmmaker, that won three Oscars—two for documentaries do in the 1940s (Hitler Lives, about americans troops, and Design because that Death, about Japanese warlords), and one in 1951 for computer animation (Gerald McBoing-Boing). By that time, he had written 4 kids’ books and also turned under Hollywood screenplay offers in stimulate to store writing them.In 1984 he winner the Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to children’s literature. Flops: only one—a novel called The seven Lady Godivas, an “utterly ridiculous retelling the the story the Lady Godiva” that was very first published in 1937 and republished 40 year later. He constantly wanted to create The great American Novel…but the book bombed in 1977, too.

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How He got Started

He was functioning as a cartoonist in the late 1920s for Judge magazine. Among his cartoons “showed a knight using Flit insecticide to kill dragons.” Someone connected with Flit’s advertisement agency (McCann-Erikson) observed the cartoon and also hired Geisel. Because that the next 10 years he produced ads because that Flit and other traditional Oil products. His greatest case to fame in ~ the time: a well-known ad phrase, “Quick Henry, the Flit!” His contract through McCann-Erikson permitted him to write and publish books for kids, therefore he composed To Think the I experienced It on Mulberry Street. It was turned under by 27 publishers. Claimed Seuss: “The forgive I acquired for every those refuse was that there to be nothing ~ above the industry quite prefer it, so they didn’t understand whether it would sell.” Vanguard Press ultimately picked it increase in 1937, and also it to be an immediate success. For this reason he battered the advertisement agency and began creating kids’ publications full-time.

How He obtained His Ideas

“The most asked inquiry of any kind of successful author,” Seuss said in 1989, “is ‘How do you get your concepts for books?’ ” over the year he did disclose a number of his inspirations:

Horton Hatches the Egg

“Sometimes you have actually luck when you room doodling. Ns did one day when I was illustration some trees. Climate I started drawing elephants. I had a home window that was open, and also the wind blew the elephant on optimal of the tree; ns looked in ~ it and said, ‘What perform you mean that elephant is law there?’ The price was: ‘He is hatching an egg.’ Then every I had actually to perform was create a book about it. I’ve left that window open ever before since, yet it’s never happened again.”

Green Eggs and also Ham

Bennett Cerf, the founder and publisher of arbitrarily House, gambling Geisel $50 that he couldn’t write a publication using simply 50 words.Geisel won the bet. “It’s the only publication I ever wrote that still provides me laugh,” he claimed 25 year later. That added: “Bennett never paid!”

The Lorax

Dr. Seuss’s favorite book, that said, “is about people who raise hell in the environment and also leave nothing behind.” He composed the story ~ above a to wash list together he sat at a hotel swimming pool in Kenya, city hall a herd the elephants through his wife. “I composed it as a piece of propaganda and also disguised the fact,” that told a reporter. “I to be on the soapbox. Ns wasn’t fear of preaching—but i was fear of being dull.”

Yertle the Turtle

“Yertle the turtle is Adolf Hitler.”

The Cat in the Hat

In the beforehand 1950s, novelist john Hersey to be on a panel the analyzed exactly how reading was taught in a Connecticut school system. In might 1954, Life magazine released excerpts of the panel’s report (called “Why execute Students Bog under on the an initial R?”). In it, Hersey wrote that among the major impediments to learning was the dull “Dick and Jane” material students to be given—especially the illustrations. Kids, he said, have to be influenced with “drawings prefer those wonderfully imaginative geniuses among children’s illustrators, Tenniel, Howard Pyle, Dr. Seuss.”A textbook publisher review the article and agreed. He contacted Dr. Seuss and also asked the to develop a reading book. The publisher sent Seuss a list of 400 words and also told the to choose 220 to usage in the book. The reason: world felt this was the maximum that “kids could absorb in ~ one time.”“Geisel went with the perform once, twice and also got nowhere,” reports parents magazine. “He made decision to provide it one an ext shot; if he might find 2 words the rhymed, they’d type the title and also theme of the book. In ~ moments, cat and hat leaped turn off the page. However then it took him 9 month to create the whole book.”