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Transcript of Theodor Geisel
Becoming Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss's Legacy
Awards and Acknowledgments Background Info The Basics Born on March 2, 1904
Son of Theodor R. Geisel and
Henrietta Seuss Geisel
Older sister Marnie
Younger sister Henrietta Dartmouth College 1921 College Life Part I Wrote for the school paper, "Jack-o-Lantern" Oxford University College Life Part II Early Childhood His father and grandfather were brew masters
and enjoyed great financial success for many years. Despite some financial hardship because of Prohibition, Ted enjoyed a happy childhood with strict, but loving parents. With the continual threats of Prohibition and WWI, german immigrants, the Geisels became targets for slurs due to their heritage and livelihood. This mockery fueled Ted. He and his sister overcame ridicule and became popular teenagers involved in many activities. He completed undergraduate work while taking advantage of the school's facilities Activities: orchestra, soccer team, skiing His tenure as editor-in-chief ended prematurely when he and some friends got caught throwing a drinking party which was against prohibition laws and school policy. He continued contributing to the paper signing under the name "Seuss" which was the first record of the Seuss pseudonym. He attended graduate school to become a college professor in England, but his studies bored him. Ted decided to tour Europe instead, and met Helen Palmer who became his first wife. With Helen's help, Ted found that he was more interested in drawing doodles and writing his own work than becoming a teacher. Becoming Dr. Seuss While working for some smaller publishing companies, Ted illustrated children's books. "And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street" was the first book he wrote and illustrated it was rejected 27 times before finally being published by Vanguard Press in 1937 With the release of "The Cat in the Hat" in 1957, Ted became a definitive children's book author and illustrator. About his Style Ted Geisel never had any formal art education. He took an art class while at Springfield's Central High School. At one point during the class, he turned the painting upside down to "check the balance" Because if something's wrong with the composition upside down, then there's something wrong with it the right way too. The teacher who saw what he was doing said "Theodore, real artists don't turn their paintings upside down." Feeling that he wouldn't learn much from that teacher, he walked out of class and never took another lesson. Seuss definitely developed his own keen sense of contrast, perspective, and color within his artwork. The Mischievous Side... More About his Style A desire to surprise people inspired Seuss's adult sense of humor He said the first draft of all of his writing is written completely for adults. To keep the writing going, he would write swear words and dirty words ending up with an adult piece of writing. Then he would go back, clean it up, and have a little fun with it. To make sure his editors were paying attention, he liked to slip dirty jokes into his manuscripts His Career Gets Rolling During the 10 years prior to the release of The Cat in the Hat, Seuss published work for more than 60 different periodicals and more than 1,000 newspapers. He became the president of Beginner books at Random House publishing company. Some of his first books published there include: Winning a Bet One of his friends bet him $50 he couldn't write a book using only 50 different words The Result: Uses exactly 50 different words! And appeared on the "New York Times" best seller list in 1960. Dr. Seuss's Legacy Married Life His wife, Helen, was an indispensable part of his life, career, and creative process She maintained the budget, household, and Ted's schedule Helen began developing paralysis in her legs and feared she was going blind. In dedication, Ted wrote "On Beyond Zebra!" in 1955 He was devastated when she committed suicide. To cope with his loss, Ted wrote "The Foot Book." Besides the books, his works have provided the source for eleven children's television specials, a Broadway musical and a feature-length motion picture. Other major motion pictures are on the way. Wife No. II Married Again "Oh the Places You'll Go" brings Seuss's career full circle by linking the child's journey with the narrator's point of view. Around 10 pm on September 24, 1991, Theodor Seuss Geisel died in his sleep next to the drawing board on which he created the figures that have changes the way children and adults dream... The death of Helen left Ted in anguish. A short while later, he married a long time friend, Audrey Dimond. On a trip to Kenya with Audrey, he developed the entire story line of "The Lorax" (1971) a parable about greed and pollution. In doing so, he turned the child's world in the direction of adults and initiated a conversation across generations. Environmental activists adopted his books for political aims, but Geisel was sure to use the law to protect the Dr. Seuss name from degrading publicity.