Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

Did you know, that in 1904

  • a dozen eggs cost $.14?
  • there were only 8000 cars on the road?
  • the average speed limit in most towns was 10mph?
  • the average wage was $.22 per hour?
  • the American flag had only 45 stars?
  • Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born?

Theodore Geisel was born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.  His parents, Theodor and Henrietta Seuss Geisel, were strict, but loving.  After high school, Geisel attended Dartmouth College, and then Oxford University.  He intended to pursue a career as a professor, but was persuaded by a fellow student, Helen Palmer, to consider a career as an artist.  Geisel took not only her advice, but her hand in marriage.

Geisel spent the next 15 years in advertising, then created training films for the Army during WWII, all the while submitting short stories to several popular magazine publications.  His big break arrived when he was asked to write a children’s primer containing 220 beginning reader vocabulary words.  The Cat in the Hat was born.

Over the next 53 years, Geisel wrote more than 60 books, most under the name “Dr. Seuss.”  More than 200 million copies have been sold in 15 languages.  His awards include an Oscar, two Emmys, and three Caldecott Honor Awards.  Almost half of his books have been adapted for television or video. Geisel died on September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.

Today, Read Across America Day, celebrate Dr. Seuss’ 107th  birthday by reading his books with your child.  I think our friend Theodore would approve.


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