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Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904 - 1991)

A photo of Theodor Seuss Geisel
Theodor Seuss Geisel
1904 - 1991
Born
March 2, 1904
Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States
Death
September 24, 1991
La Jolla, San Diego County, California, United States
Other Names
Dr. Seuss, Ted
Summary
Theodor Seuss Geisel of La Jolla, San Diego County, California United States was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts to Theodor Robert Geisel and Henrietta Augusta Geisel. Theodor Geisel had siblings Margaretha Christine Dahmen and Henrietta Katherine Geisel. He married Helen Marion Geisel on November 29, 1927 in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, and they were married until Helen's death on October 23, 1967 in Fresno, Fresno County, California. He also married Audrey Grace Florine Geisel on August 6, 1968 in San Diego, San Diego County, and they were married until Theodor's death on September 24, 1991 in La Jolla.
Updated: August 11, 2022
Biography ID: 1166521

Theodor Geisel's Biography

Family, friend, or fan this Collaborative Biography is for you to show & tell Theodor's life so that he is always remembered.
About Theodor

Introduction

The son of Henrietta (Seuss) and Theodor Robert Geisel, "Dr. Seuss" was famed for his children's books. His father ran the family brewery until Prohibition and then was appointed to supervise Springfield Massachusetts' public park system. He had one sister, Maxine. They were of German descent and experienced anti-German prejudice from other children following the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

His future wife, Helen Palmer Geisel, encouraged him to pursue a career in drawing and his first nationally published cartoon appeared in the July 16, 1927, issue of The Saturday Evening Post. After this success, he moved to New York City and married Helen. He moved on to advertising and had great success. Then, in 1931, Viking Press published his first book "Boners", a collection of children's sayings that he illustrated.

A few children's books followed in the late 1930s, and then "Horton Hatches the Egg" was published in 1940. The previous books were prose but Horton was written in poetry. His later successes would follow this format. During WW2, Ted used his talents to the war effort - drawing political cartoons and later writing films for the Army. But after the war, when he and Helen moved to La Jolla CA, he returned to children's books as well as illustrated short stories, mainly in Redbook magazine.

Helen had been ill for many years and died by suicide in 1967. Ted subsequently married Audrey Dimond in 1968 and they remained married until he died. He never had children - and he once said about children: "You have 'em; I'll entertain 'em."

Scroll down to see a list or Dr. Seuss books in chronological order.

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Theodor Seuss Geisel
Most commonly known as
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Full legal name
Dr. Seuss, Ted
Other names or aliases

Name & aliases

La Jolla, San Diego County, California United States
Last place lived

Last residence

March 2, 1904
Birthday
Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts United States
Birth location

Birth details

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Ethnicity & Family History

German

Nationality & Locations

United States: Massachusetts, New York, California

Education

Dartmouth College (BA) Lincoln College, Oxford

Religion

dd/mm/yyyy
Baptism date
Unknown
Place of worship

Baptism date & location

Was Theodor a religious man?

Professions

Writer and illustrator

Personal Life

Author, Cartoonist

Military Service

Captain in the Army - joined 1943
September 24, 1991
Death date
Throat cancer
Cause of death
La Jolla, San Diego County, California United States
Death location

Death details

dd/mm/yyyy
Funeral date
ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean
Burial location

Gravesite & burial

Obituary

The below was generated. Please share Theodor's obituary if available, or write one in your own words to preserve his memory.
Theodor Seuss Geisel of La Jolla, San Diego County, California United States was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts to Theodor Robert Geisel and Henrietta Augusta Geisel. Theodor Geisel had siblings Margaretha Christine Dahmen and Henrietta Katherine Geisel. He married Helen Marion Geisel on November 29, 1927 in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, and they were married until Helen's death on October 23, 1967 in Fresno, Fresno County, California. He also married Audrey Grace Florine Geisel on August 6, 1968 in San Diego, San Diego County, and they were married until Theodor's death on September 24, 1991 in La Jolla.

Average Age & Life Expectancy

Theodor Seuss Geisel lived 12 years longer than the average Geisel family member when he died at the age of 87.
The average age of a Geisel family member is 75.
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Memories: Stories & Photos

Who is Theodor Geisel to you? Share memories and family stories, photos, or ask questions.
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Dr Seuss drawing the Grinch 1957
Dr. Seuss (Ted Geisel) in 1957 drawing the Grinch for the (upcoming) book "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."

Who doesn't know this book? Who doesn't know the cartoon? Then a movie . . . I bet that Dr. Seuss didn't know how big this book would be over 50 years later. Wouldn't you love to have these original drawings?

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, NYWT&S staff photograph
Comments
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This was so important to me when I was a kid, it's pretty moving to see it in it's nascent stages.
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I adored Dr. Seuss - my favorite was "Hop on Pop" which I made my mother read to me at least once a week!
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Theodor Seuss Geisel "Dr Seuss"
Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss) in 1957. You know Dr Suess - everyone knows Dr Suess!

Before WWII, he wrote three children's books (one of which was "Horton Hatches the Egg". During WWII, he turned to political cartoons, then drew war effort posters, and finally wrote propaganda films.

After WWII, he moved to La Jolla CA and wrote most of the books we've heard of, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was published the year that this photo was taken.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Al Ravenna photographer
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On my DNA I am some how related to him.
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List of Dr. Seuss books in chronological order
And To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street (1937)
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (1938)
The King’s Stilts (1939)
Horton Hatches the Egg (1940)
McElligot’s Pool (1947)
Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (1948)
If I Ran the Zoo (1950)
Gerald McBoing Boing (1950)
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories (1950)
Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953)
Horton Hears a Who! (1954)
On Beyond Zebra! (1955)
If I Ran the Circus (1956)
The Cat in the Hat (1957)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957)
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (1958)
Happy Birthday to You! (1959)
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960)
Green Eggs and Ham (1960)
The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961)
Dr Seuss’s Sleep Book (1962)
Dr Seuss’s ABC (1963)
Hop on Pop (1963)
Fox in Socks (1965)
I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew (1965)
The Foot Book (1968)
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! And Other Stories (1969)
Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You? (1970)
The Lorax (1971)
Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now? (1972)
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (1973)
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff (1973)
There’s a Wocket in my Pocket (1974)
Great Day for Up! (1974)
Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! (1975)
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut (1978)
Oh Say Can You Say? (1979)
Hunches in Bunches (1982)
The Butter Battle Book (1984)
You’re Only Old Once (1986)
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (1990)
Daisy-Head Mayzie (1995)
Oh, Baby, The Places You’ll Go! (1997)
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! (1998)
The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (2011)
Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories (2014)
What Pet Should I Get? (2015)
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Family Tree & Friends

Theodor's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Geisel family tree.
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Theodor's Family Tree

Theodor Seuss Geisel Theodor Seuss Geisel
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Relationships

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Helen Marion Geisel

&

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Married: November 29, 1927 - October 23, 1967
Cause of Separation: Helen's Death
Married at: Springfield, Hampden County, MA United States
Ended: Fresno, Fresno County, CA United States
Theodor Seuss Geisel Theodor Seuss Geisel
Child
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Audrey Grace Florine Geisel

&

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Married: August 6, 1968 - September 24, 1991
Cause of Separation: Theodor's Death
Married at: San Diego, San Diego County, CA United States
Ended: La Jolla, San Diego County, CA United States
Theodor Seuss Geisel Theodor Seuss Geisel
Child

Friends

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1904 - 1991 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Theodor's lifetime.

In 1904, in the year that Theodor Seuss Geisel was born, the World's Fair, officially known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, was held in St. Louis, Missouri. Attended by nearly 19.7 million people (and later the subject of a Judy Garland film), the Fair was funded by federal, state and local sources to the tune of $15 million. As the name suggests, the Fair was suggested as a way to celebrate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In the past, World's Fairs were a way of bringing new technology to the attention of the masses and this fair was no exception - the use of electricity (the public feared it at the time), personal cars, airplanes, and the electric streetcar were all highlighted.

In 1914, Theodor was only 10 years old when in only his second big-screen appearance, Charlie Chaplin played the Little Tramp, his most famous character. The silent film was made in January and released the following year. Of the character, Chaplin said: "On the way to the wardrobe I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. I wanted everything a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large." The moustache was added to age his 24-year-old face without masking his expressions.

In 1978, when he was 74 years old, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

In 1983, when he was 79 years old, on August 30th, the Soviet Union claimed that a South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner (Flight 007), bound for Seoul from New York City, had strayed into Soviet airspace. Saying that they believed it to be a U.S. spy plane, the passenger jet was shot down by a Soviet SU-15 fighter - after it had tracked the airliner for two hours. All 269 passengers (including a U.S. Representative from Georgia) and crew were killed.

In 1991, in the year of Theodor Seuss Geisel's passing, on December 25th, the Soviet Union flag was lowered and replaced by the Russian tricolor flag. It was the end of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as President of the Soviet Union and Boris Yeltsin became President of the Russian Republic.

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