Dr. Seuss's real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel. He decided to take up the name Dr. Seuss because his mom's maiden name was Seuss.
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Henrietta (née Seuss) and Theodor Robert Geisel. His father, the son of German immigrants, inherited the family brewery one month before the start of Prohibition and later supervised Springfield's public park system and zoo. Geisel was raised in the Lutheran faith and remained a member of the denomination his entire life.
Geisel attended Springfield's Central High School, and entered Dartmouth College in fall 1921 as a member of the Class of 1925. While at Dartmouth, he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.At Dartmouth, Geisel joined the humor magazine Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, eventually rising to the rank of editor-in-chief.
While at Dartmouth, Geisel was caught drinking gin with nine friends in his room, violating national Prohibition laws of the time.As a result, Dean Craven Laycock insisted that he resign from all extracurricular activities, including the college humor magazine. To continue work on the Jack-O-Lantern without the administration's knowledge, Geisel began signing his work with the pen name "Seuss." His first work signed as "Dr. Seuss" appeared after he graduated, six months into his work for humor magazine The Judge where his weekly feature Birdsies and Beasties appeared. Geisel was encouraged in his writing by professor of rhetoric W. Benfield Pressey, whom he described as his "big inspiration for writing" at Dartmouth.
After Dartmouth, he entered Lincoln College, Oxford, intending to earn a Doctor of Philosophy in English literature. At Oxford, he met his future wife Helen Palmer; he married her in 1927, and returned to the United States without earning a degree.
He began submitting humorous articles and illustrations to Judge, The Saturday Evening Post, Life, Vanity Fair, and Liberty. One notable "Technocracy Number" made fun of the technocracy movement and featured satirical rhymes at the expense of Frederick Soddy.He became nationally famous from his advertisements for Flit, a common insecticide at the time. His slogan, "Quick, Henry, the Flit!" became a popular catchphrase. Geisel supported himself and his wife through the Great Depression by drawing advertising for General Electric, NBC, Standard Oil, and many other companies. In 1935, he wrote and drew a short-lived comic strip called Hejji.
In 1937, while Geisel was returning from an ocean voyage to Europe, the rhythm of the ship's engines inspired the poem that became his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.<citation needed> Geisel wrote three more children's books before World War II, two of which are, atypically for him, in prose.
As World War II began, Geisel turned to political cartoons, drawing over 400 in two years as editorial cartoonist for the left-wing New York City daily newspaper, PM. Geisel's political cartoons, later published in Dr. Seuss Goes to War, opposed the viciousness of Hitler and Mussolini and were highly critical of non-interventionists, most notably Charles Lindbergh, who opposed American entry into the war. One cartoon depicted all Japanese Americans as latent traitors or fifth-columnists, while at the same time other cartoons deplored the racism at home against Jews and blacks that harmed the war effort. His cartoons were strongly supportive of President Roosevelt's conduct of the war, combining the usual exhortations to ration and contribute to the war effort with frequent attacks on Congress (especially the Republican Party), parts of the press (such as the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune and Washington Times-Herald), and others for criticism of Roosevelt, criticism of aid to the Soviet Union, investigation of suspected Communists, and other offenses that he depicted as leading to disunity and helping the Nazis, intentionally or inadvertently.
In 1942, Geisel turned his energies to direct support of the U.S. war effort. First, he worked drawing posters for the Treasury Department and the War Production Board. Then, in 1943, he joined the Army and was commander of the Animation Dept of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces, where he wrote films that included Your Job in Germany, a 1945 propaganda film about peace in Europe after World War II, Our Job in Japan, and the Private Snafu series of adult army training films. While in the Army, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. Our Job in Japan became the basis for the commercially released film, Design for Death (1947), a study of Japanese culture that won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950), which was based on an original story by Seuss, won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film.
Dr. Seuss is well known for his books:
* The Cat in the Hat
* Green Eggs and Ham
* One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
* How the Grinch Stole Christmas
* Horton Hears a Who