Dr. Seuss: Facts And Stories You Didn't Know About The King Of Kids' Books

By | February 28, 2020

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Theodor Geisel holding one of his most famous books. (newyorker.com)

Who didn’t grow up reading the fun-tastical books of Dr. Seuss? The rhymes were catchy, the stories had morals, and the illustrations were whimsical. From The Cat in the Hat to Green Eggs and Ham and The Lorax to Horton Hears a Who, the stories were always clever and engaging. The genius behind these children's books, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, was just as interesting and creative as his beloved stories. To honor his contribution to children's literature, Geisel's birthday, March 2, is now celebrated as National Read Across America Day. 

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Theodor Geisel began using the pen name Dr. Seuss while in college. (seussinspringfield.org)

Dr. Seuss's Fondness For Booze Led To His Name

Theodor Geisel, who was born in Massachusetts in 1904, was the son of a prominent brewmaster. The taste for beer may have been in Geisel's DNA: When he was 18 and a student at Dartmouth College, Geisel and some of his buddies got caught drinking in their dorm room. This was 1922, when Prohibition was in full force, so as punishment for his deed, Geisel was removed from his position as editor-in-chief of the school's humor magazine, Jack-O-Lantern, and forbidden from submitting any of his writing to the publication. He took his punishment with grace, meaning he absolutely continued writing for the magazine, just under a pen name. He decided to use his mother's maiden name, Seuss, and add the medical title to lend more credibility to his work, which included drawings of a crazed old woman riding a camel named Prohibition.