Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904.
Even the story behind how he came to be called “Dr. Seuss” is funny, although not quite the stuff of a children’s book: In college at Dartmouth in the early 1920’s, he wrote for the school’s humor magazine and eventually became editor-in-chief. When he was discovered drinking gin in his room with friends – in violation of Prohihbition – the school’s administration made him resign from all his extracurricular activities. He obeyed in name only: Geisel resigned and “Seuss” took up the job.
Geisel occasionally used other pen names during his long career. Some showed his love of word play, like Theo LeSieg: Theo was short for Theodor, his first name, and LeSieg was Geisel backwards.
Did you know Dr. Seuss was a Californian? He lived most of his life near San Diego, California. The library at the University of California, San Diego is named the Geisel Library, for him and his wife. Some people think it looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book!
All told, Geisel wrote more than 60 books. My personal favorite is, and always has been, Green Eggs and Ham. I loved this book even as a child, before I fully realized its moral of open-mindedness and being willing to try new things.
Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book, or a memory of a Dr. Seuss book or character from your childhood – or from reading to children? Tell us about it!