Whether you are 5, or 105, everybody knows the name Dr. Seuss. As soon as you hear the name, crazy colors and shapes, silly creatures, and nonsensical language come to mind. You can't help but smile despite how many times you may have heard Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, or The Foot Book. But do you really know the man behind his alias?
Theodor Seuss Geisel
We are all familiar with Dr. Seuss' name on his famous children's books, but that was not all he wrote. Theodor Seuss Geisel also wrote several books with more of an adult theme. In 1939, he wrote The Seven Lady Godivas which featured several drawings of nude women. It tells the story of seven sisters who are soon to be wed to each of the seven Peeping brothers. However, after their father's death, resulting after he is thrown from a horse, each sister vows to delay being wed until they learn a "horse truth". The book humorously goes on to show how each sister learns the meaning behind a common saying involving a horse, such as "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" and "Don't put the horse before the cart". Dr. Seuss himself proclaimed that the book was his "biggest failure", however you can now find original copies selling for as high as $300.00!
You're Only Old Once! is also a more adult themed book by Dr. Seuss. Aging is something many of us fear. In this book, Dr. Seuss offers humor towards the subject in a way that may help people cope with the idea of a likely outcome of us all-- getting old.
Dr. Seuss, known for his silly rhyming, also illustrated all of his own books. While many may have already known this, you may have not known that he also illustrated hundreds of liberal political cartoons during World War II. Theodor Seuss Geisel, after all, served in the United States Air Force in the animation department. Even before this, one of his very first successes made the slogan "Quick, Henry, the Flit!" widely known in his illustration for an insecticide product.
Dr. Seuss, as many of his readers know, had a very peculiar way of making up silly words in his books. These words may seem like they were just made up out of thin air, but in reality there is a story behind how they are created. While studying in college, Theodor Seuss Geisel took classes in Zoology as well as Botany. He took great amusement in many of the Latin words used to name the plants and animals, and admittedly used several of these words to influence the ones he uses in his books. So much for studying!
Theodor Seuss Geisel died on September 24, 1991 of cancer at the age of 87. Despite writing so many children's books, he never had children himself. He was cremated and never had a funeral, at his own request. While he may no longer be with us in person, his cheerful books will continue to be well known for a very long time, if not forever.