Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the literate world as Dr. Seuss, was the son of Bavarian emigrants. His famous name, Dr. Seuss, is actually his middle name which was his mother’s maiden name. While the world may know him by his famous moniker his family and friends knew him simply as Ted. Once when asked why he did not use his given name with his writing he proclaimed that he was saving his true name for the great American novel he planned to write, well The Cat in the Hat may not be the great American novel he had in mind, but it sure did impress the rest of the world. Ted chose to use the moniker Dr. Seuss after he and several of his school friends were caught drinking at Dartmouth College and punished for the misconduct. As part of their punishment they were put on probation and Ted was removed from his position at Editor of The Jack-O-Lantern, the college’s humor magazine.
Ted, dismayed that he had lost his position did not want to lose his chance to publish his cartoons and soon proceeded to create writing aliases with which he would use to get his cartoons into the magazine. It worked and soon L. Pasteur, D.G. Rossetti, and finally Seuss began published remarkable and humorous cartoons quite frequently.
After finishing school and beginning his work as a magazine cartoonist Ted began publishing under the moniker “Dr. Theophrastus Seuss” in 1927. It soon was shortened to Dr. Seuss and so the Doctor was here to stay.Not long into his magazine career ted met Helen Palmer while they were both studying to earn their Ph.D. in English at Oxford University. The “Dr.” wanted to make his doctor title official. But after showing Helen some of his drawings she confided that he was crazy to want to be a professor, he should stick to his drawing, and so he did.
The two married, moved to New York, and the great career of Dr. Seuss began its slow climb to the top. He began his work in advertising drawing a cartoon advertisement in Judge Magazine for Flit. His cartoon became so popular it became a household term, “Quick Henry, the Flit!” Ted advertised for NBC, Holly Sugar, Ford, and General Electric. But in 1937 he wrote his first children’s book, And to Think That I saw it on Mulberry Street.
It is unknown exactly why he chose to write children’s books, perhaps it was his love of drawing, others say it was that his contract with Standard Oil prohibited him from doing certain writing jobs, but not children’s books. Whatever the reason the world is very happy he chose to write that first book.
Throughout the years he continued his outrageous, imaginative, and fantastic books creating great works like The Cat in the Hat,Oh. The Places You’ll Go!, ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book,How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Hop on Pop. Over his career Dr. Seuss has revolutionized the way in which children learn to read with his beginner books, and to this day his work continues with Dr. Seuss’ Read Across America program. It just goes to show you, you do not need to start with much to become a great leader and teacher in this world. And for that fact, you may not even need to be a doctor!