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Fun Facts About Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel is known as Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel is known as Dr. Seuss

Who was Theodor Seuss Geisel?

If I asked you who Theodor Seuss Geisel was, you would probably shake your head in dismay. However, if I told you I was referring to Dr. Seuss, you would say, "Oh, yes, my children have books written by Dr. Seuss."

Geisel wrote under several different pen names, including Theo LeSieg which is Geisel spelled backward. He used Rosetta Stone, Theophrastus Seuss, and of course, he is well known as Dr. Seuss.

Many think Dr. Seuss was a real doctor, but he was not a doctor at all. His middle name was Seuss and his mother's maiden name. He added the title “doctor” before Seuss while in college to give credibility to his writings and characters. His father wanted him to get a doctorate but he never did.

Dr. Seuss, who is well known for writing children books, never had any children of his own. His first wife. Helen Geisel, couldn't have children and she committed suicide. Dr. Seuss had no children with his second wife either.

When he was asked how he could connect with children even though he had none of his own, he said, “You have ‘em, and I’ll entertain ‘em.”

Dr. Seuss' Books and Other Writings

Not only was Dr. Seuss a writer of 44 children's books, but he was also a cartoonist. Even though Geisel is noted for his children's books, he also wrote a total of about 60 books including humorous articles, illustrations, and poems.

Dr. Seuss' first book was originally a poem that later became his very first book, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. It was rejected 27 times. Then he wrote three more children's book, two of them were written in prose.

Almost every household has at least one of Dr. Seuss' books especially if there are children in the house.


How Dr. Seuss Got His Start

Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904 and died September 24, 1991 at the age of 87. His birthday is still celebrated around the world, and he still honored for the many books he wrote for children even though he had no children of his own.

Dr. Seuss got his start in writing children's books because in May 1954, Life magazine published an article reporting that children were not learning because children's books were boring.

The Director of Education, William Ellsworth Spaulding gave Dr. Seuss a list of 348 words that were thought to be easy for first graders to recognize. Then he asked Dr. Seuss to write a book using only 250 of those words.

Spaulding instructed Dr. Seuss to "write a book children can't put down." Nine months later Dr. Seuss completed The Cat in the Hat. He used only 236 of the 250 required number of words.

Book Written on a Dare

One of Dr. Seuss' popular books was written on a dare. His publisher bet him that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 different words.

Taking his publisher up on the bet, the writer wrote a silly little book to make learning to read more exciting for children.They love to read the silly tale about a picky eater in Green Eggs and Ham.

The story is about an unnamed character who was challenged to try a plate of green eggs and ham. The character refuses at first by saying he didn't like them. In the end, he agrees to try the green eggs and ham and discovered that he liked them after all.

The book was first published on August 12, 1960. It has sold over 8 million copies worldwide.

More About Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss was against having a moral in mind when he wrote. He said, "kids can see a moral coming a mile off." Also, he never wrote about political, religious or social issues.

Dr. Seuss died on September 24, 1991, at the age of 87 because of throat cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered.

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Over his lifetime, Dr. Seuss wrote over 60 books sold over 222 million copies that have been translated into 15 languages.

School and youth centers around the country have activities to honor Dr. Seuss on his birthday.

Dr. Seuss' BooksYear PublishedNumber SoldUniqueness

The Cat in the Hat



225 words; best selling book

Green Eyes and Ham


over 8 million

50 words written on a bet

How Dr. Seuss' Birthday Is Celebrated

During his lifetime, Dr. Seuss won several major awards. He won two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and a Peabody Award.

Every year on his birthday on March 2, people especially children all over the world celebrate that day as National Read Across America Day created by the National Education Association.


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 05, 2011:

Betty, there is absolutely nothing wrong with morals. Dr. Sesss just wanted to write books so children could do their own thinking and come to their own conclusion about what they had read.

Betty Johansen on March 05, 2011:

Dr. Seuss' books are a blast! Maybe because he avoided morals? "Kids can see a moral coming a mile off." Sigh, I guess my problem is that I didn't know there was anything wrong with morals. Oh well, an interesting hub about a man with an amazing gift! I enjoyed every word - yes, every word I heard was a gift with a lift. (As you can see, I'm no Dr. Seuss!)

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 03, 2011:

Rebecca E., thanks for reading and responding. I was inspired by Dr. Seuss not giving up on his writing. It gives me hope that I might succeed with my writing here on HubPages. He didn't give up and neither will I.

I value the information you give in your hubs so we can all succeed!

Rebecca E. from Canada on March 03, 2011:

well done, and this is awesome, you've made my kids day. I didn't know how often he was rejected for his book, that's amazing.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 03, 2011:

crystolite, thanks for reading and responding. I thought the hub was interesting and on time for March 2 since it was Dr. Seuss' birthday. However, this is not an "evergreen hub." I will have to make some revisions so it can be read throughout the year. There are numerous ways this can be done.

Emma from Houston TX on March 03, 2011:

Interesting hub.thanks.

FaithDream from (Midwest) USA on March 01, 2011:

Revmjm, this is very interesting and encouraging too. It just goes to show you that timing and having a passion you can achieve anything... even green eggs and ham. ;)

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 01, 2011:

Thanks for reading and responding. I find it so amazing that his first book was rejected yet he went on to write 60 books and 44 of them were children's books and he didn't have any children of his own.

Rosie Rose from Toronto, Canada on March 01, 2011:

Hiya revmjm, I love Dr. Seuss.. my kids loved them so much we all got to memorize Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. I'm sorry he is gone.. he was a such a genius. I didn't know that his first book was rejected 27 times! Thumbs up and useful.

Have a nice day,


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 01, 2011:

FaithDream: I got the idea from my grandchildren (ages 5, 6, and 10) who are celebrating Dr. Seuss on March 2 at their school. Believe it or not, they gave me most of the information included in this article. I was amazed at how much they knew about the background even though they have most of his books.

Don't you find it interesting to know that he had no children and his first book was rejected 27 times?

FaithDream from (Midwest) USA on March 01, 2011:

Interesting article. Dr. Seuss had a very unique writing style. His books and stories will outlive our lifetimes.

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