Timeline-a line showing important events in the order in which they occurred.
“King, Martin Luther, Jr.” FactCite: Lincoln Library of Shapers of Society Online. Lincoln Lib. P, 2011. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.
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- Also known as: Theodor Seuss Geisel
Born: March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 24, 1991 in La Jolla, California, United States
Occupation: writer, artist
Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1904. As a child he liked to draw funny pictures on his schoolbooks. He went to college in New Hampshire and then in England. While in England, Geisel met and married Helen Palmer. The couple moved back to the United States in 1927.
Geisel was traveling on a ship in 1936 when he began writing his first book. He called the book And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. He also drew the illustrations for the book. Geisel sent his book to 27 publishers. Finally one of them agreed to publish it. The book was published in 1937.
Geisel published his book under the name “Dr. Seuss.” He wanted to use his real name for more adult books. The name Seuss was Geisel’s middle name. It was also his mother’s maiden name. The “Dr.” was in honor of his father. His father had hoped that Geisel would earn a doctorate degree at Oxford University. Geisel did attend Oxford, but he never graduated.
In 1954 the magazine Life published an article that said children were not interested in reading. This was because their books were boring. Geisel’s publisher sent him a list of 400 words he believed were interesting to children. Seuss was told to cut the list to 220 words. He then had to write a book using only those words. What resulted was the famous The Cat In the Hat.
Geise’s good friend, Bennett Cerf, bet him $50 he could not write a book using only 50 words. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham. Cerf lost the bet, but never paid the $50.
Geisel also wrote under another name, Theo LeSieg. “LeSieg” is “Geisel” spelled backwards. He used this name when someone else drew the illustrations to go along with his words.
Geisel died after a long battle with cancer in 1991. He was 87 years old. Four of the ten bestselling children’s books of all time were written by Dr. Seuss. They are: The Cat in the Hat; Green Eggs and Ham; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; and Hop on Pop.