Oh the places you’ll go! Such has been the influence of Theodore Seuss Geisel, a voice of hope and whimsy and wisdom. Never an actual doctor or, for that matter, a man named Seuss, the Dartmouth grad adopted the pen name Dr. Seuss to continue writing for his college humor magazine following a disciplinary action for illicit drinking.
Geisel began his career writing humor for notable publications such as Life and Vanity Fair. He also showed a talent for advertising, penning the famous Flit Insecticide ad, and ads for General Electric, Standard Oil, and NBC. Along the way he wrote political cartoons and children’s books.
Although quite successful already, it was in 1954 that Dr. Seuss really struck a chord. A Life magazine report on illiteracy inspired a challenge to Geisel to produce “a book children can’t put down.” The Cat in the Hat was born, and Green Eggs and Ham, and The Lorax, and…mission accomplished. Apparently adults cannot put the book down either. These remain annual best sellers today. They’ve also inspired multiple feature films. Don’t miss The Lorax, in theaters today.