Theodor Seuss Geisel is an American children’s author, cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker. He is known for writing and illustrating more than 60 books under Dr. Seuss’s pen name. Selling over 600 million copies and translated into more than 20 languages, his work includes many of the most popular children’s books. But, Seuss also faced failures at the beginning of his career. Despite the rejections, Seuss refused to give up and chose to work harder. His success story is an inspiration to many.
Early life and struggles
Seuss was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, where his father managed the family brewery. Later, he was appointed to supervise Springfield’s public park system. Seuss attended Dartmouth College and worked as the editor-in-chief of the college’s humor magazine. One day, he was caught drinking alcohol with friends in his room. During that time, the possession and consumption of alcohol were illegal. As a result, the dean told Seuss to resign from all extracurricular activities, including the humor magazine.
But, Seuss wanted to continue to work on the magazine. Hence, to hide his identity from the college administration, he decided to sign his work with the pen name “Seuss.” After graduating, he entered Lincoln College to earn a Doctor of Philosophy. He met his future wife there, who encouraged him to pursue drawing as a career. Seuss did not complete his degree and returned to America, where he began submitting his illustrations and works to magazines, book publishers, and advertising agencies.
Failures faced by Theodor Seuss Geisel
In America, Suess started working as a writer and illustrator at a humor magazine. Soon, his illustrations began to appear regularly in other magazines. The money he earned from his work made him wealthier than most of his successful Dartmouth classmates. He married his wife, and they traveled extensively. The couple did not have children and had sufficient money. In 1936, while returning from a trip to Europe, the rhythm of the ship’s engines inspired him to write his first children’s book: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Unfortunately, the book was rejected by at least 20 and 43 publishers. They told him that they didn’t see the potential in his work. While walking home to burn the manuscript, an encounter with an old Dartmouth classmate led to its publication. The rest is history. He became a legendary children’s author of classics like The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.
Lessons we can learn
If it weren’t for his wife, who encouraged him to pursue a career in drawing, Dr. Seuss wouldn’t have followed his true passion. He could publish his book only with the help of an old friend. Sometimes, success can’t be achieved alone. We need to surround ourselves with the right people who challenge us and push us to be better. Building connections is also essential. Making connections leads to conversations, and conversations lead to opportunities. These connections can come in handy in unexpected ways down the road. At last, we should always believe in ourselves and follow our dreams.
In August 2022, the long-time home of Dr. Seuss went up for sale. Located above the La Jolla coastline, the 5,000-square-foot estate has a luxurious seaside neighborhood. Initially, Dr. Seuss bought the house in 1948. For many years, he spent his life in the stunning mansion. He stayed there until he died in 1991. Later, in 2018, the house was donated to the University of California, San Diego. Currently, the house’s value is offered at under $19 million. On the 17th of August, 2022, the house will enter a blind auction. Ryan McGovern, an agent representing the house, talked about the glorious history of the house. He expressed astonishment that Dr. Suess had all the financial resources but chose to stay at this place.
How many children's books did Dr. Seuss write?
He managed to write 47 children’s books during his lifetime.
When did Dr. Seuss die?
Dr. Seuss died on 24 September 1991. He was 87 years old.