Theodor Geisel '25 Writes His First Children's Book

As Dr. Seuss, he authored and illustrated more than 50 children’s books that have been translated into more than 20 languages.

He won a Pulitzer Prize, three Academy Awards, two Emmys, and two Peabody Awards for his literary creations. He published his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, and went on to pen many well-known classics, including, The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Horton Hears a Who!, The Lorax, The Sneetches, and Green Eggs and Ham. You're Only Old Once!, a book for readers over 50, follows its character through a series of medical check-ups and the process of being “properly pilled” and “properly billed.”

It was at Dartmouth that Ted Geisel “discovered the excitement of ‘marrying’ words to pictures,” he said in a 1975 interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. “I began to get it through my skull that words and pictures were Yin and Yang. I began thinking that words and pictures, married, might possibly produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.”

As a student, he wrote for and eventually became the editor-in-chief of Dartmouth’s humor magazine, The Jack-O-Lantern. On April 11 of his senior year, Geisel organized a party for the The Jack-O-Lantern staff to celebrate the spectacular success that the humor magazine enjoyed during his tenure as editor. Geisel and company’s revelry was not well received by the dean, and Geisel was told to resign from all extracurricular activities at Dartmouth, including the college humor magazine.

In order to continue work on the Jack-O-Lantern without the administration’s knowledge, Geisel began signing his work for the first time with the pen name “Seuss.”

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