Theodore Seuss Geisel was an American author who, under the pen name Dr. Seuss, wrote and illustrated books that both children and adults came to love. Born in 1904 in Massachusetts, Geisel went on to write some of the world’s best-known children’s books, with sales topping 600 million. He published his first children’s book in 1937, titled “And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street.” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Horton Hears a Who,” and “The Cat in the Hat” are some of his more well-known titles. He passed away in La Jolla, California, in 1991.
Key Moments in Dr. Seuss's Life
- December 1, 1995
Dr. Seuss gets a library
On the fourth anniversary of his death, the library at the University of California, San Diego is renamed the Geisel Library for Geisel's generous contributions over the years.
Geisel publishes both "The Cat in the Hat" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Supporting the war effort
Geisel begins work for the government to support the war effort, including drawing posters and later commanding the Animation Department of the U.S. Army Air Forces.
Geisel produces a 30-page booklet, titled "Secrets of the Deep," for Standard Oil. It became hugely popular.
Get that degree
Geisel graduates from Dartmouth College.
How to Celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday
Get hooked on a book
There's no better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday than reading one or more of his books. Maybe try one or two you haven't read before, such as "The Sneetches and Other Stories" or "Bartholomew and the Oobleck." Make sure to include the kids!
Your turn to learn
Dr. Seuss lived an amazing life and his stories touched children and adults across the globe. There are a number of fantastic biographies that detail his long literary career. You might start with "Who Was Dr. Seuss?" — an illustrated biography by Janet Pascal.
This game's not lame
PBS Kids offers a bunch of fun, Dr. Seuss-themed games online. Try the "Arcade Escapade" or the "Corn Maze Craze." There are hours of free, rhyming fun, and you just might expand your vocabulary along the way.
Dr. Seuss's Bestselling Books
"Green Eggs and Ham" is Dr Seuss's all time bestseller, selling well over eight million copies.
That cat's crazy hat
"The Cat in the Hat," published in 1957, clocks in at just over seven million copies sold.
That smells fishy
"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" is a children's classic that has sold more than six million copies. That's a lot of fish!
Hop on Pop
The tongue-twister "Hop on Pop" has sold between five and six million copies.
Where'd you go?
"Oh, The Places You'll Go" has sold more than five million copies since it was published in 1990.
Why we love Dr. Seuss's birthday
He was a legend
Perhaps no other American stamped his imprint on children's literature quite like Dr. Seuss did. His books have sold more than 600 million copies and still fly off the shelves to this day. He created some of our favorite children's literary characters including that famous cat and elephant.
He got kids to read
Dr. Seuss made reading fun for kids. His characters, illustrations, and rhyming verse entertained while also inspiring kids to read more. It's quite possible he made kids WANT to go to bed early so they could have story time.
He did more than write
Theodore Seuss Geisel was more than just a children's storyteller. He was a political cartoonist during World War II and won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for a film called "Design for Death." His birthday serves as National Read Across America Day, which promotes reading throughout the country.