. (official Dr. Seuss site)
Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, screenwriter, filmmaker, and artist, best known for his work writing and illustrating more than 60 books under the pen name Dr. Seuss. His work includes many of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death.
Geisel adopted the name “Dr. Seuss” as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and as a graduate student at the University of Oxford. He left Oxford in 1927 to begin his career as an illustrator and cartoonist for Vanity Fair, Life, and various other publications. He also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, and as a political cartoonist.
Geisel published his first children’s book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937. During World War II, he took a brief hiatus from children’s literature to illustrate political cartoons, and he also worked in the animation and film department of the United States Army, where he wrote, produced or animated many productions – both live-action and animated – including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
After the war, Geisel returned to writing children’s books, writing classics including:
- If I Ran the Zoo (1950
- Horton Hears a Who! (1955)
- If I Ran the Circus (1956)
- The Cat in the Hat (1957)
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957)
- Green Eggs and Ham (1960).
He published over 60 books during his career, which have spawned numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. He won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
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.