Dr Seuss: Rejected 27 Times And Went
On To Become One Of The World’s
Most Successful Children’s Authors 

On March 2nd 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born in Massachusets. His eccentric writing style was not an immediate success by a long shot but through sheer persistence he got his work into the hands of children and adults worldwide. His net worth stands at $11 Million and continues to rise even after his passing.

Seuss!

Theodor Geisel was born to the children of immigrants from Germany. He graduated from high school in 1921 and went on to study at Dartmouth where he managed the school’s humor magazine.

dr seuss the children's author

Dr Seuss Honored With A USA Stamp Featuring Him and His Creations

In the wake of an incident in which he was caught violating the prohibition on alcohol with some friends, he was stripped of his rank as editor in chief. Having been told that he could no longer even publish within the magazine he began to do so under other names including Seuss.

His middle name from which his most popular pseudonym is derived is his mother’s maiden name. 

Changing Directions

On graduating from Dartmouth, Geisel went on to study literature at Lincoln College. He had always had a fondness for art and he was given advice by his soon to be wife, Helen Palmer, to take that passion more seriously and pursue it as a job instead of lecturing.

He quit college and they went back to America with that dream in mind. Much of his initial work was done in advertising as a cartoonist through which he earned a reputation that allowed his drawings to be featured in popular magazines.

He continued to write fiction in his spare time but advertising allowed him to pass relatively unscathed through the Great Depression. While traveling the world with his wife and a wealthy couple they had befriended, Geisel stumbled upon the inspiration for his first book.

It was called “And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street” and no publisher would touch it. It was rejected so many times that he contemplated destroying it but a fortuitous meeting with a friend in the publishing industry ultimately led to its release.

Dr Seuss' books are a favorite among children. Some of his bestselling books include Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax

The Mightier Pen

By the time World War II began, Geisel was too old for the draft but he made his opinions known through a series of political cartoons which were published in PM, a tabloid newspaper at the time.

They revealed his disapproval of antisemitism and of the racism often meted out to African Americans both of which he saw as being counterproductive while waging a war.

He also signed up with the army to help them create films some of which were used in training. His work there would earn him honors such as the Legion of Merit and two of the films he wrote were eventually given Academy Awards.

dr seuss the lorax film

Dr Seuss' book "The Lorax" has been turned into a film featuring famous celebrities that include Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift

In Times of Peace

Geisel wrote several of his famous children’s books after World War II ended. In the 1950’s he was approached with a unique proposition. The children’s books available at the time were horrendously dull and the characters within them behaved nothing like real children so there was little encouragement for young readers to practice their skills.

Geisel was presented with a list of just over 200 words and instructed to make a book out of them and out of this was born his most famous work, “The Cat in the Hat”. These were published under the name Dr. Seuss although he never did finish his doctorate.

Struggles Later On

Geisel’s relationship with his wife had become strained over the years and her emotional state was also fragile as a result of failing health. In 1967 she took her own life after discovering his affair with Audrey Diamond who he would go on to marry the following year. Many years later he too would fall ill and in 1991 at the age of 87 he succumbed to cancer. 

Lesson We Can Learn From Dr Seuss:

  • Sometimes a major problem has a whimsical and entertaining solution
  • You may be just as talented no matter what your name is but a memorable moniker never hurt anyone
  • No matter what your talent is, it can be put to use in support of your cause

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"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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